Disclaimer: I am just a by-stander. I dont offer Law. I have mostly done the observation.
Let me first take your mind to the US. Harvard University is great. Their sample list of notable alumni may not have some of the common names because there are many of that kind. Do you know why the world literally worships Harvard? It is not because it miraculously makes a dense person bright. It is because of the pedigree. 80% of the have-made-it-from-Harvard would have equally achieved from Bishop Stuart, but why did they go to Harvard? Pedigree!
Law School at Makerere started ages ago, it has evolved over time and there is something unique about that. It comes with loads of experience, alumni to look up to for both material assistance and motivation to mention but two. It is a recorded fact, over 90% of all law students in the country in recent times have a history with Makerere. They have either been discountinued there or failed to pass their pre-entry exam.
I even believe the idea of an entry exam at Makerere law school, and the intensity it is coupled with was developed as a means of stamping their authority over law students all over the nation. The confidence and pomp upon passing it vis a vis the low esteem on failing it is priceless. I have friends in other universities who after failing the exam at Makerere are now using weird excuses to try and get away with it. “Makerere students strike alot, I want a peaceful reading environment,” they say. Only God knows the disses I would be throwing if I had been admitted at Makerere Law School.
Law students have a bar course. Back then when I was still a fan of USA Network series ‘Suits’, a bar course was the real deal. In Ugandan times, it is Law Development Centre (LDC). Have you analysed those statistics? Year in year out, Makerere has been blowing those charts up. “They always have so many students sitting the exam,” someone will say.
But wasn’t it just yesterday when some universities after admitting over 500, advertised on radio and TV calling for fresh admissions? Public universities have an edge over their private counterparts. For them, it is never about the money. And how many private universities are accredited to teach Law?
Not to mention the teaching staff. You see the beauty about Makerere staff is even if they have a sit down strike for 50 days, when they get you for just 4 hours you will feel like the most intelligent human to ever walk the Earth. Prof. Nawangwe was not lying when he said the institution has the best teaching staff in Africa.
All those law proffessors you see on TV saying M7 is an autocrat and has abused power are all confined at Makerere law school. Rumour has it that the law program at Makerere has more professors than some universities combined.
And by the way, the first time I learnt some Latin was when Makerere law professors smuggled themselves in Amama Mbabazi’s case as “amicus curie”. I need to do some more research about any other law professors in the nation. When I was in high school, I asked my headmaster why he was not running adverts of our school in the media.”We dont advertise. Our products speak for us,” he said. Everytime I see universities advertising, that answer comes to life and that is why on any day, I would either get Law at Makerere or chill the course altogether.
I don’t know the legal yardstick used to gauge a great law school, but if my observations aren’t legal, consider me a layman and forgive me.