Eric Muriuki’s story is one of pure hard-work and determination. Coming from a humble background, he had to overcome countless obstacles to achieve his dream of becoming a lawyer with his own firm.
He sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at Alliance High School (AHS) in 2011 and aced it, securing a mean grade of A-. However, Muriuki still owed the school over Ksh130,000 and therefore couldn’t get the result slip and certificate he needed to join university.
He had been called to the University of Nairobi to study his dream course, Law. On the verge of giving up, he decided to reach out to then AHS Principal David Kariuki hoping for any sort of assistance.
“There was no way I was joining university…One week to the reporting date, very desperate and broke, I decided to give it one last effort, I travelled to Nairobi to see the Principal of Alliance, Mr. David Gideon Kariuki,” Muriuki shared.
Kariuki informed him that he could not be issued with the crucial documents thanks to the massive arrears. He, however, offered Muriuki a lifeline. Kariuki agreed to write a letter with the AHS letterhead, highlighting Muriuki’s stellar grades and discipline, further asking whoever it may concern to assist him.
“He owes the school Ksh130,000 and thus lack of result slip, leaving certificate and the KCSE certificate. He was diligent, industrious, respectful and responsible. Please assist him in any way,” the Principal wrote.
Armed with the letter, Muriuki started planning for his journey to UoN. He had been working as a teacher while waiting to join university and put some savings together. His mother back home in Meru organized a small fundraiser with family and friends to enable him to start his college studies. She also took a loan.
“My reporting date came before the fundraising could be done so my mother took a small loan from a friend to add to what I had saved from my teaching job for the 15 months I had been waiting for JAB,” he revealed.
Once admitted at UoN, he knew that he couldn’t let the opportunity go to waste. He survived on student loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and random jobs including as an office messenger. “I was able to pay school fees, make some utility money and get some pocket money,” he notes.
Muriuki graduated from UoN with his LLB degree (Upper Second-Class Honours) in December 2017. Having campaigned for Kiraitu Murungi’s Gubernatorial bid that year, he was offered a job in the Meru County Government after Murungi clinched the seat.
His salary at the county government was only Ksh38,000 a month, but he saved enough to clear the Ksh130,000 debt at his old high school. In a show of resilience, he also saved enough while working for the county to pay the 195,000 fee required to join the Kenya School of Law (KSL) – but as a result he had to join in 2019 and not 2018 as expected.
He shined in the Advocates Training Program, passing all nine exams in one sitting and was admitted to the bar on March 2nd, 2021.
“It was quite a tearjerking event, especially when I remembered that in my primary school days, I would some times go up to 3 days without a meal,” Muriuki recalled.
Currently, Muriuki is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Founding Partner at Muchui, Muriuki and Atieno LLP, a full-service law firm specializing in Commercial Law, Civil Litigation, Legal Advisory, Conveyancing & Real Estate Law, Immigration Law, Constitutional & Human Rights Law, Employment and Labour Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Family Law, Intellectual Property Law and Governance & Legal Audits.