Practical legal Training: setting the record straight: Don't confuse Practical legal Traning(a 6 month course which you pay for with Articles)
What I’m about to share with you, regarding admittance as an attorney, is irrevocable and beyond dispute. There is a misconception, alternatively a misunderstanding alternatively a misinterpretation of the requirements to be admitted as an attorney in terms of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979. The Misunderstanding: In order to be admitted as an attorney, you must first obtain a LLB(no other degree besides the LLB is accepted), you must do your two years of articles in which time you write several board exams at the relevant Law society. You then must do a 6 month practical course called “Practical Legal Training,”(This is where the misunderstanding is coming from) I deduce this because many of my fellow LLB students at many of the Universities in our country have this erroneous understanding, furthermore there are many individuals I know doing their articles and they are informed by their principal or the law firm that they must do this 6 month compulsory practical legal training course. What is more worrying and perhaps where this very misconception is coming from is that certain bodies offering this practical legal training course are marketing this course as compulsory which is simply not true as at today’s date.
Not to worry, I’ll unpack the matter satisfactorily for you!
1. In terms of section 2(1)(a) of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979(as amended), inorder to be admitted as an attorney you must have obtained the LLB(No other degree whatsoever will be accepted for admission as an attorney), you must then do two years of articles with a law firm in which time you write several board exams adjudicated by the relevant law society. You then admitted as an attorney. This has not changed WHATSOEVER BUT
2. There is a way in which you can reduce your articles from two years to one year by doing “The Practical Legal Training Course” As at today’s date it is not compulsory;
3. I have written to several Professors of law serving in capacity od dean of college of law at that South Africa University and have been informed in writing that my unstanding of admittance as an attorney is correct.
4. I really hope that it never becomes compulsory simply because all bodies concerned are not offering this course of the goodness of their heart but they charge you for it!
5. My fellow jurists, even if you’ve done only 1 LLb module, you should know that you do not accept any legal opinion without searching/finding the law on that matter for yourself i.e. sources of law. So for me, it doesn’t really matter at all if a judgement president with a hundred doctorates in law formulates an opinion, before I entertain such opinion I will investigate it for myself by assessing the sources of South African law
6. Furthermore for any of our legal predecessors i.e. lawyers, advocates, doctors of law, professors to imply or to suggest that the status quo is not good enough is simply to say that the training and education they received was of a very sub standard nature because if it wasn’t then why advocate this new “practical legal training course”