Student Zone

Ministerial task team on gender-based violence at universities set up

A ministerial task team on sexual harassment and gender-based violence in South African universities has been set up. In a statement, the higher education and training department confirmed that the task team is appointed for 12 months with effect from June 2019. According to the department, the setting up of the task team formed part of its response to an open letter written by a…

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The long and winding road to becoming a lawyer

When pondering the question of whether one should become an attorney, the following wise words come to mind, “The study of Law is sublime, and its practice vulgar” by Oscar Wilde, and “There are no short cuts to any place worth going” by Beverly Sills. With neither Wilde nor Sills being legal practitioners themselves, it is uncanny how right they got it. Studying Law can…

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2019 South African Law Reform Commission Legal Essay Writing Competition now open!

The South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) in conjunction with prize sponsors Juta Law, are proud to announce the opening of the 2019 season for the South African Law Reform Commission Legal Essay Writing Competition. The 2019 season honours the memory and legacy of the late Chief Justice Pius Nkonzo Langa who served with dignity and distinction. Justice Langa’s legacy of legal excellence continues to…

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Beginner’s Guide for Law Students

About this publication: The fifth edition of Beginner’s Guide for Law Students is a foundational text which introduces first-year law students to: basic legal terminology and definitions; the South African legal system’s objectives, history and subdivisions; and legal research skills. Students are introduced to the law as it stands, in accessible terms, with reference to the different sources of law and popular media, to demonstrate…

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Final call for submissions to the 2018 South African Law Reform Commission Legal Essay Writing Competition

The South African Law Reform Commission in partnership with Juta Law is calling on young legal minds to submit articles championing law reform in South Africa into the 2018 SALRC Legal Essay Writing Competition. The competition encourages critical legal writing by students while generating new ideas for law reform. These ideas should be aligned to South Africa’s priorities as a developmental state and be aimed…

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Legal Research: Purpose, Planning and Publication

Lawyers must be able to do research and should be able to do it well in order to honour their obligations, be those obligations commercial, in the field of criminal justice, constitutional, judicial or academic. Yet much confusion surrounds the nature of research, the need for lawyers and law students to undertake research projects, the requirements for the dissemination of the results, and their impact…

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Are you creating intellectual property at university? Know your IP rights!

If you are currently studying or planning your studies at a university in South Africa, it is important that you understand your rights as an Intellectual Property creator during your time at university. You might argue, as a student and especially during your undergraduate studies, that you will not be participating in research and development in any manner and therefore “Intellectual Property” is merely a…

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Self-employment as an alternative career choice for law graduates

South Africa’s unemployment rate has risen to 27.2% during the second quarter of this year, up from the 26.7% of the first 3 months of 2018. No sector is entirely safe, including sought-after white-collar industries such as finance and law. According to an article published in Business Day, not all LLB graduates will go on to do their articles in good law firms. With the…

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South African Law Reform Commission relaunches 2018 student Legal Essay Writing Competition

The South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) in conjunction with prize sponsors Juta Law, are proud to announce the relaunch of the long-standing annual legal writing competition for South African law students. Previously named in honour of Justice Ismail Mahomed, the first Chief Justice of the democratic era, the SALRC Legal Essay Writing Competition will in future commemorate a range of our legal luminaries who…

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Five reasons to study law

Monash South Africa shares five reasons why you should consider studying law: 1. Law degrees combine theory with practice A lot of theory goes into studying law, but law is also a fairly defined profession and the teaching thereof must also be vocational in nature. Some universities and tertiary education institutions have mock courtrooms and run moot court assignments, allowing students a first-hand experience of…

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Sabinet South African National Legislation (NetLaw)

The cost of doing business within South Africa, along with the cost of running an educational institution is growing, and extremely quickly too. One essential piece of this cost-puzzle can be found in access to information. The ability of an organization to provide professionally moderated information to its employees or students, ensures that learning and growth can continue. Sabinet has actively pursued business and academic…

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The Council on Higher Education’s national review of the LLB

The CHE undertook a review of the LLB programme across the 17 Universities that offer it. While this was a process that began in 2013, it culminated in a set of outcomes emanating from the review undertaken by the CHE during 2016, and communicated to the universities in April this year. A further set of outcomes based on the improvement plans of institutions flowed from…

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The many career paths of the modern lawyer

There is no doubt that earning your Law degree is an admirable achievement and worth doing no matter which direction your career takes you, whether working in-house, in a law firm, or maybe even starting your own business. However, transitioning from a law firm where you initiated and developed your career into an alternative environment can be as challenging as it is potentially rewarding. Let’s…

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LSSA calls on Council on Higher Education to consult the legal profession on issues related to the LLB degree

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) questions the decision by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) not to include the legal profession in its review of the LLB degree. The CHE has recently published the outcomes of its review of the LLB degree, on 12 April 2017. The LSSA has invited the CHE to consult the legal profession on issues relating to the LLB…

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Succeeding in your role as a candidate attorney

The duties of a Candidate Attorney will make or break you It’s your first day at work. You’ve heard that the duties of the article clerk are to perform endless paginations; spend hours communicating with the photocopy machine; and sweating the day away at a magistrate’s court just to ask the judge to postpone your matter. You’ve also heard tales of books being hurled across…

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The functions and differences between state attorneys, state advocates and prosecutors

This article is specifically targeted at informing those who are currently studying or have completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) qualification at any accredited South African University and wish to pursue their legal careers in service of the greater community whilst representing the State. The field of law is a great calling to use your qualification to assist in the service of your country and…

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A personal perspective on being a woman in the maritime sector

I come from very humble working class beginnings. My mom worked in an appliance factory and my father was a salary clerk. I attended government schools in rural areas and furthering my education beyond matric was not a certainty. It was my father who decided, on the day that my matric results were released, that I was going to study further. I was the first…

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Two Exemplary Young South Africans Share Their Thoughts On The Real Importance Of A Law Degree

Two outstanding young South Africans, law student and Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group bursary recipient Kamogelo Sono and school pupil and future law student, Lesedi Nkwe have commented on the importance of pro bono work in their law careers and what they would say to others aspiring to be lawyers who might feel that this is unattainable for them. Kamogelo Sono is studying towards his LLB qualification at…

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Plight of a black law graduate

We recently received this thought provoking letters from one of our readers. It raises many questions about transformation in the legal profession and brings to light the many challenges facing black law graduates. Dear Sir/Madam I bemoan the lack of transformation in the judiciary. We constantly read about the white and male dominated industry and skewed briefing patterns to the exclusion of black Counsel. At…

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Is a candidate attorney an employee?

What is an employee? I recently read a letter titled the  ‘Protection of candidate attorneys’ and it made me wonder whether article clerks / candidate attorneys and the agreements they enter into with principals, fall under the definition and protection of the Labour laws. Let’s start by looking at the definition of a contract of employment and an employee. A contract of employment is a…

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Becoming an advocate – Leave the law firm and go to the Bar

At some point during or after your legal studies you will be faced with the choice. Should I become an advocate or an attorney? We have in the past explored the differences between the two career paths. If you feel that donning a robe and appearing in court is the career for you then this article highlights the fundamental steps you must take to join…

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Experts advise law students – Finding articles of clerkship

Law graduates today face increasingly great difficulty in securing articles of clerkship with a law firm. Hundreds of law graduates clamour for positions every year at the large commercial law firms. Many perceive these firms as the most desirable employers of choice from a remuneration and future-prospects perspective.

The cry of a despondent law graduate

Read the tale of a law graduate who has applied to almost 500 law firms and still cannot find law articles.

One chance to make a first impression

While we can’t travel back in time and amend your academic results or past work experience, we can help you sugar coat reality. Law firms sift through hundreds of CVs a year. They formulate decisive opinions at a cold glance and incinerate mediocre applications. Follow these helpful tips and ensure that your CV avoids the furnace, and stays a cut above the rest.

Preparing for questions at the interview

Interviewers ask different types of questions to assess different things during an interview. Werksmans Human Resources Practitioner, Olivia Timothy, provides guidance on the kinds of questions you should prepare for.

Finding Law Articles: Where Should You Begin?

Eric Levenstein, director at Werksmans Attorneys, offers some advice to help young attorneys overcome the challenges of finding law articles.

Should I study to become a lawyer in South Africa?

Law can be an exciting and rewarding career, but one that requires a lot of commitment and dedication. So before you get stuck in, we suggest that you find out as much as possible about the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a lawyer. Only do it if it feels like a calling. Once you decide that law is for you, you need to make a…

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10 steps to becoming an attorney in South Africa

This article teaches aspiring legal professionals the basic steps to becoming an attorney in South Africa. Many law students drift through university and are surprised when the law degree comes to its end and all the other students seem to be landing high paying jobs. The difference between the law students that get snapped up and those that get left behind often comes down to…

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