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Graduate Profile: Fenan Estifanos – Bachelor of Laws


As a child, I wanted to be a doctor but a traumatic experience when I was in class seven led me to change my mind. I have no regrets and am glad I am on a journey to be a lawyer and still be able to influence the lives of many. My name is Fenan Esifanos. My family is of Eritrean decent. For those that enjoy world history Asmara is the capital city of Eritrea. Due to its considerable Italian-influenced architecture, it is also referred to as ‘New Rome’.

Some of my most memorable moments while at the Strathmore Law School (SLS) were the moots.

For you moots have been a “fulfillment”, please elaborate

All the seven moots I have participated in pushed me out of my comfort zone. They expanded my worldview about every aspect of life. My first moot was the National Humanitarian Law Moot Competition where my teammates and I made it to the finals. We did not win; however, it became a reflection point for me in all the moots that followed. They include:

  1. Great Lakes Regional Training Programme in International Law and Human Rights Moot
  2. Strathmore Cindy Wakio Internal Moot: I was recognized as the best oralist after my teammate and I made it to the finals.
  3. 27th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot
  4. 11th Middle East Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Pre-moot: Here my teammates and I were top among the top 8 out of 40 teams. I received an honorable mention as one of the best oralists.
  5. AlexU-CRCICA Vis Pre-moot: My teammates and I qualified for the Semi-Finals. We were recognized as the Second Runners-Up of the competition.
  6. 28th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot

Having participated in all the above, is there one that stood out for you and why?

My most memorable moot court competition was the 28th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. My coach Stephen Fleischer gave me another chance to participate despite having lost on the 27th edition. Under the guidance of our coaches Stephen Fleischer, Naeem Hirani, Tabitha Raore, and John Mwangi, my teammates (Winfred Nakazzi, Irene Muhoro, and Baraka Wanyanga) and I made history by being the first-ever Sub-Saharan African team to make it to the rounds of 16s. This meant that we were amongst the top 16 teams out of 385 teams that had participated in the moot. In addition, I was recognized as one of the top 50 oralists from the entire competition. Over and above that I now have long-term friends in my coaches and teammates, which is the reason why I consider this moot my best moot.

What have you been up to in the past months?

I am a graduate assistant at SLS. My duties vary but are not limited to assisting the lecturers with their course load (i.e. aiding them in teaching some classes and assisting them with their administrative tasks). I also assist the students by taking them through tutorial classes which then enable them to better understand concepts they are struggling with. Lastly, because of my experience with moot court competitions, I assist in coaching various moot teams at the law school. Graduate Assistant positions are available and, in my case, I responded to an email sent out by Mr. Allan Mukuki to the entire fourth-year class calling for students to apply for the position. I heeded this call and went through the three-stage interview process.

In conclusion what do you hope to achieve with your law degree?

Being the best lawyer that I can be. My education has equipped me with the tools I need to assist many in their disputes resolutions. The advice to them on the best possible decisions for their businesses, contracts, and their life from a legal perspective. With that said I ultimately desire to pursue International Commercial Arbitration because of my interest and hunger for the complexity of the transactions addressed in this area. This part of the law also exposes me to several other fields meaning I will continually be learning new things while solving problems.


This article was written by Annete Karanja. 


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