“…the nobility of the legal profession is not premised on the fancy titles, big offices and trappings of the good life… but in being the voice of reason in society.”– Mbula Nzuki
We traverse the eastern part of the beautiful continent of Africa to unravel what makes up the quintessential Kenyan: Ms Mbula Nzuki. Mbula who is a seasoned Startup and Corporate/Commercial Attorney working with (and for) innovative, high-growth emerging companies and Venture Capital investors. With a strong background in Dispute Resolution (Commercial Litigation & Arbitration), Mbula has over the years curated a career in LegalTech, TMT, Fintech, StartUp, International Business, Oil & Gas, Energy & Environmental Law practice areas. She is a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Public International Law, an active Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)London, Co – Founder of The Cyber Society and is Founder & Principal Attorney at MN Legal Advocates – a futuristic, client-oriented, innovative law firm based in Nairobi, Kenya. Mbula is also AIJA’s (International Association of Young Lawyers) national representative for Kenya. Outside the legal world, Mbula Nzuki is an eclectic entrepreneur with sizeable interests in the Fintech, Construction and Jewelry industries.
1. What makes practice exciting for Mbula?
Beyond the nobility and elitism associated with the legal profession, Mbula believes the practice of law presents lawyers with the exciting opportunity to positively impact the lives of clients and the society at large. Mbula, who is naturally a problem–solver, believes a successful career in law is premised on problem-solving. She notes that every day she gets up and shows up to work, for her it is a fresh opportunity at being human and creative and above all, to think on her toes, design and deploy solutions for real-life/business challenges for real people or at the very least, negotiate and mitigate looming disaster and/or losses and that to her is the most rewarding part of her career – the impact!
Running her law firm has also been a very exciting challenge. It calls for going beyond being a legal mind and marrying the practice of law with the business of law. MN Legal, her brainchild, has so far been her greatest teacher. For her, learning how to swim from the deep end, knowing full well that she can either drown or go pro; of course, for her, drowning is not an option.
2. What is her philosophy of impacting the nation through the practice of the law?
Mbula notes and appreciates that this is a timely question. For her, the proper place of a lawyer in society is indeed in every room and gathering where any important, life-changing decision is being made. She notes that this room will from time to time mean a private boardroom, a public arena, a social justice merch, a courtroom, the Parliament or Senate and so forth.
She strongly believes that an honourable lawyer’s voice is a sword, a great tool, that must be drawn courageously and skilfully in protecting the letter and spirit of the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land, the voice of the people. In that regard, for her, such lawyer must always remember that a crusader does not fear the sword.
She further emphasizes that “the nobility of the legal profession is not premised on the fancy titles, big offices and trappings of the good life that a good legal career will eventually afford a diligent lawyer, but in being the voice of reason in society in the various capacities a lawyer should practice and always stand for that which is just, seeing that justice is done and enforced against all members of society in equal measure.” This is her philosophy and in the words of Ben Palmer’s A Lawyer’s Prayer:
“So, may I humbly do my part
In building up through centuries the art
Of reconciling liberty and order
Preserving man from the ever-eminent maw
Of chaos, brutality, disorder.”
3. What is the next big thing Mbula is working on?
She is working on a lot of exciting things as every single client entrusting her law firm with a brief brings with them a different challenge. For her, no day is ever like the previous one at MN Legal and her team at MN Legal love it! She, however, recently co-founded The Cyber Society, an association registered in Geneva, Switzerland, alongside two other lawyer friends of hers. At The Cyber Society, its mission is to promote the growth of a safe, futuristic and resilient internet environment that is human-centric and reflective of the norms of society. She and her team spearhead impactful dialogues and interrogate policies internationally all in a bid to promote sustainable governance of the Cyberspace.
As a Cyber lawyer and data privacy enthusiast herself, this is such an exciting venture as she finally gets to put her Master of Laws (LL.M) in Public International Law into great use and yet in a very creative and innovative way! Taking chances on oneself is indeed the stellar stuff that life is made of and she is so grateful for the journey she has been blessed to be on so far and looks forward with a lot of hope and fire in her soul to leave her mark before exiting this beautiful stage called life in her little way.
4. What does she consider the millennial’s greatest strength?
Mbula asserts that millennials are innovative and curious. She believes this is the combination for one to be a real superpower. She further notes that most, if not all, of the world’s problems, will be solved by people who think outside the box better yet. This is the heart of innovation fuelled by curiosity, Mbula states. For her, millennials have the advantage of being born in the Computer/Technology Era, giving millennials a real advantage at being tech-savvy. She believes that the next crop of movers and shakers are going to comprise of the people who dare to leverage smart technologies for more sophisticated results using minimal resources. She mentions that lawyers are leveraging lawtech (consumer-centric) and legaltech (lawyer–centric) technologies to boost productivity and faster, more sophisticated delivery of legal services and there has never been a better or more exciting period to practice the law than today.
On a closing note, Mbula remarks;
“To every young aspiring lawyer, here’s your confirmation that your dreams are valid and that our legal profession is worth every sleepless night endured in a library. Dare to be different and be audacious for the universe loves a stubborn heart!”
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