I Left Alliance With Ksh134K Fee Arrears, Opened My Law Firm 10 Years Later

  • A file image of Lawyer Erick Muriuki who founded Muchui, Muriuki & Atieno Advocates LLP.
    A file image of Lawyer Erick Muriuki who founded Muchui, Muriuki & Atieno Advocates LLP.
    Muchui, Muriuki & Atieno Advocates LLP.
  • When Erick Muriuki was admitted to study Bachelor of Law at the University of Nairobi in 2013, his progress was being threatened by a huge debt of Ksh134,000 he owed Alliance High School since sitting his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2011.

    At the time, his future seemed bleak but unlike what many would have opted for, the lawyer refused to just sit back and do nothing. He was determined to pursue his passion against all odds.

    Desperate and broke to join the prestigious institution, Muriuki, who had gone back to his rural home in Meru, packed his belongings and travelled to Nairobi to see the school's Principal Gideon Kariuki. 

    "I explained to him my case. How I was from a family that couldn't afford to clear the fees and get me the certificate and how I would miss out on my dream if I didn't have my form 4 documents (from Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC)).

    A file image of Lawyer Erick Muriuki who founded Muchui, Muriuki & Atieno Advocates LLP.
    A file image of Lawyer Erick Muriuki who founded Muchui, Muriuki & Atieno Advocates LLP.
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    Erick Muriuki

    "He explained that I couldn't be given the documents as I had quite a huge debt with the school," recounted Muriuki.

    The principal, who was understanding, however, reached a compromise with the then ambitious Muriuki, and offered him a letter from the institution explaining why he could not access the crucial documents yet.

    "He agreed to write me a letter with the school's letterhead explaining why I didn't have KNEC documents. I immediately knew that this would be enough to get me to University as I was a (government sponsored) student," he continued.

    Coming from a humble background, Muriuki's troubles were, however, far from over since he was faced with an uphill task of raising school fees.

    In the 18 months after leaving High School, he secured a teaching job through which he saved some money that would partially cater for his school fees. After he secured the admission, his mother also took a loan from a family friend to facilitate his admission.

    "On 20th May 2013, I reported to the University of Nairobi school of law. Between HELB (Higher Education Loans Board) and some odd jobs such as being an office messenger, I survived.

    "I was able to pay school fees, make some utility money and get some pocket money. I cleared university and graduated in December 2017," he added.

    After school, Muriuki dived into the political world before he secured employment in the county with a salary of Ksh38,000. 

    "I saved a substantial enough amount to enable me pay my debt of 134K to Alliance High School," he noted.

    Opening Law Firm

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Muriuki noted that running his own law firm was a dream born from his childhood. Immediately after receiving their KCSE results, Muriuki and a friend, Levis Muchui, challenged themselves to open a company.

    "The dream has been there from the day we got our KCSE results. The managing partner Lewis Muturi is my childhood friend. When we got our KCSE results, I and Lewis were together watching the news.

    "From the grades we had gotten, I knew I was going to Law School because I had the cut off points. We then vowed that we are going to open a law firm together," he recounted

    After graduating from the University of Nairobi, however, Muriuki had to set aside a year in order to raise school fees. Muchui, however, proceeded to Kenya Law School (KSL) immediately.

    During his stint at the County Government of Meru, the lawyer raised Ksh195,000 requisite school fees for KSL.

    "When I was at KSL, we revived our plan to open the law firm. We drafted the business Model," he explained noting that in July 2021, he partnered with Muchi and Julie Atieno Ogolla to open Muchui, Muriuki & Atieno Advocates LLP.

    "I opened my law firm with my partners, MMA Law. We are three partners and we are just starting. We are doing big work. We are still growing. In the next two or three years, we will be very big," he concluded.

    A file image of the entrance to Alliance High School
    A file image of the entrance to Alliance High School
    Alliance High School