Lord Denning played an important role in the establishment and development of legal education and lawyers' training in Africa from the late 1950s onwards. By exploring this involvement it is possible to add to existing work on Denning's vision of the role of law and legal professionalism. In post-colonial Africa, order and stability were best assured by a cadre of lawyers imbued with the virtues characteristic of English practitioners over the centuries. These ineffable qualities could only be apprehended through direct contact with English lawyers and, to a lesser extent, law teachers. These views are born of the tension between universalism and nationalism in Denning's legal thought.