Brown Fox’s Russ Brown and Robert Falay Teach Lawyers In Mombasa, Kenya
March 29, 2017 by Brown Fox
Last month Partner Russ Brown and Paralegal Robert Falay traveled to Mombasa, Kenya to teach at the Mombasa Justice and Peace Conference hosted by African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), Kenya Christian Lawyers Fellowship (KCLF), and CLEAR Mombasa. The three-day conference was at full capacity, with 100 Kenyan lawyers and community leaders in attendance.
This was a special opportunity for Russ and Robert to teach together. Russ previously taught with ALARM in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010 and 2011. After Russ returned from teaching in Bukavu, DR Congo in 2011, a colleague introduced him to Robert, a Congolese attorney in the United States on political asylum, who also happened to have lived in Bukavu. The two began a friendship and soon had the opportunity to work together at Brown Fox. Other than a brief stint working for a charitable organization in New York, Robert has worked with the Brown Fox team since 2011.
Peace and Justice Conference
In Kenya, Russ and Robert, along with a team of Dallas lawyers from their church, taught local lawyers and community leaders on topics such as self-leadership, leadership of others, conflict resolution, bribery and corruption, healing and grieving, and forgiveness.
The conference began with Kenyan lawyers breaking into small groups and writing what they believed to be Kenya’s “issues, assets, and aspirations.” Each small group then presented their lists to the entire conference, which set the table for the team’s three days of teaching. At the conclusion of the conference, the teaching team challenged the Kenyan lawyers to brainstorm strategies and solutions that would help Kenya address the issues to meet their listed aspirations.
In a memorable moment, all conference participants bravely stood and committed not to participate in bribery or corruption. This was remarkable given Kenya is considered one of the most bribe-driven and corrupt nations in the world. Bribes are a way of life in Kenya, including matters ranging from transactions at the corner store to speeding tickets to the prospect of significant prison time. It was only last year that an IJM lawyer, his client, and their cab driver were brutally beaten and murdered after an appearance in court that made it clear he planned to testify against corrupt police officials and their abuse of power. (Brown Fox is a regular supporter of IJM and Russ and his wife Renee served as chairs of the 2016 IJM Dallas Benefit.)
The conference was widely considered a great success by the attendees, organizers, and teaching team. While Robert, Russ, and the teaching team returned to the United States, ALARM, Dallas Justice, and Watermark Justice remain committed to Kenya and will continue to train and equip leaders in Nairobi, Mombasa, and neighboring cities and regions. One Kenyan lawyer shared at the conclusion of the conference, “I learned a lot in this training. I learned that leadership starts with leading yourself.” This same lawyer added, “we will be the salt of the world . . . [w]e will be the light of the world. That is what this conference brought us.”
ALARM’s Long-Term and Ongoing Investment of Resources and People in Africa
ALARM has offices in Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan, and Sudan. The organization’s mission is to “develop servant leaders in the African church and community who reconcile and transform lives affected by conflict and injustice.” ALARM equips and trains church and community leaders, including lawyers, on “culturally relevant principles of servant leadership, good governance, mentorship, diversity appreciation, and community initiatives.” When requested by ALARM, Dallas-based lawyers affiliated with Dallas Justice and Watermark Justice regularly travel and teach other lawyers and community leaders in ALARM’S focus countries.
Brown Fox’s Commitment to Serving the Local and International Community
Community service and philanthropy are at the heart of the firm’s Character Matters foundation. Brown Fox is actively involved with local and international charities and ministries, including Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), International Justice Mission (IJM), African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), Akola Project, and Brother Bill’s Helping Hand. If you would like to learn more about Brown Fox’s outreach, visit the firm’s In the Community page.
About Russ Brown and Robert Falay
Russ Brown is a Dallas-based employment attorney. After working for multiple large, international law firms, Russ co-founded Brown Fox with corporate attorney Adam Fox. Russ has been recognized for his legal skills and business acumen, including honors by his colleagues, Dallas Business Journal, Texas Monthly, Law & Politics, and D Magazine. His practice is focused on employment law, but Russ often quarterbacks key client relationships with legal needs beyond employment law, including corporate/transactional and business litigation matters.
Russ also dedicates a portion of his practice to pro bono service and training. He represents several local and international ministries and regularly teaches overseas. He has volunteered and taught lawyers overseas with ALARM and IJM four times in the past decade, including stints in India, DR Congo, and Kenya. Russ also leads the regional Christian lawyers’ group, Dallas Justice. Most recently, Russ and his wife Renee served as chairs for the record-breaking 2016 IJM Dallas Benefit, raising over $1.75 million to fight slavery, sex trafficking, and other injustices. Russ has lived in Dallas since 2002 and is married with three children. He regularly coaches his boys’ baseball and football teams. Read more about Russ by visiting his firm and LinkedIn bios.
Robert Falay is a Congolese attorney, fluent in five languages. Robert serves as a paralegal for Brown Fox in Dallas, Texas, where he resides with his wife and three children. Robert is an avid “football” fan (soccer) and coaches his oldest son’s soccer team. To read more about Robert’s challenging and amazing journey to the United States, click here and here.
Russ Brown pressing Kenyan lawyers to think through the issues, assets, and aspirations for Kenya
Kenyan lawyers gather in a small group to draft list of issues, assets, and aspirations.
Robert Falay sharing his story with Kenyan lawyers as he explains the importance of forgiveness.