How To Become A Lawyer In South Africa

A lawyer is a professional who is qualified to offer advice about the law or represent someone in legal matters.


What is the cheapest way to become a lawyer?

The cheapest legal education in Australia is provided by the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) in NSW at a total cost of $19,222 over 4 years (part time). This is a diploma but still allows you to practice as a lawyer.

What type of lawyer makes the least money?

In general, private sector lawyers make more money than public sector lawyers, and sole practitioners earn less money than lawyers at large firms. Geography will impact salary, with lawyers in bigger cities bringing home more than lawyers in rural areas.

What is the median salary of a lawyer?

According to the ATO, lawyers earn an average salary of R 2795288.40 per year. That figure is based on the average income of lawyers across all areas of law.

Educational and Licensing Requirements for Becoming an Attorney

You may not be clear on how to become a lawyer, or how to be a lawyer, and that’s OK. The path is a lot less cut and dry than other career paths.

To pursue a career as a lawyer, you must earn an advanced degree, as well as pass the state bar exam to become licensed.

After finishing your bachelor’s degree preferably in a field like English or social science the next step is to earn a law degree.

Not sure of how to get a law degree? You’ll start by applying to take the LSAT, a standardized law school entrance exam. And, you’ll need to score highly enough on the LSAT to be competitive against other applicants at the law schools you apply to, so take that test seriously.

Once you’re admitted, you’ll enter law school to earn your law degree, but how long does it take to become a lawyer? Law school typically takes about three years to complete.

After graduating with your J.D. degree, you are eligible to take the bar exam. Most law school graduates spend at least a year studying for the bar exam, and it’s an incredibly difficult exam to pass.

Once you pass the bar, you are then legally licensed to practice law in the state in which you took your bar exam.

Lawyer Job Training

On-the-job training for lawyers depends somewhat on specialization, sector, and career goals. Many law students begin their professional training during law school through law school clinics with nonprofit organizations.

Working under the supervision of experienced lawyers, students in these clinics engage in real-world legal duties such as investigating cases and counseling clients.

Some successful law school graduates qualify for clerkships assisting judges or other legal professionals. These clerkships often precede passing the bar and seeking other full-time work.

Clerkship duties may include conducting legal research and drafting important documents such as legal briefs, decisions, and verdicts. Clerkships provide on-the-job training that helps prepare students for the legal profession.

When eventually hired by law firms, new lawyers often complete additional training with the firm. Some states also mandate state-specific training and other requirements for new lawyers.

Other Helpful Skills and Experience

Aspiring lawyers need advanced skills in active listening and oral and written communication.

Skills in rhetorical persuasion and argumentation prove essential in presenting cases effectively, and logical thinking helps lawyers identify when and where laws apply in a given situation. Lawyers representing clients in the courtroom must manage stress effectively and speak well in front of others, even under high pressure.

As lawyers must often deal with difficult people, they also benefit from considerable empathy, patience, and interpersonal skills. Negotiation skills help lawyers communicate with opposing counsel.

Analyzing complex legal issues and sifting through long legal documents require sophisticated critical thinking, persistence, and concentration abilities.

Organization skills prove beneficial, particularly when managing long, complex cases. Lawyers also benefit from technological skills when navigating case management systems or software for preparing legal documents or conducting research.

Below are steps To Become A Lawyer In South Africa

Studying to become an attorney – LLB

Once you have decided that law is for you (If you are unsure read “Is law for you?“) then you need to enroll for an LLB degree which takes 4 to 5 years.

Vacation work at a law firm

Vacation work and shadow work should be sought as early as possible. Most of the larger law firms however only offer vacation work to students in their second last year of LLB. These jobs usually last for a week or two during the July or December holiday. Most of the top firms offer vacation work.

Articles of clerkship (“Law articles”)

In order to be admitted as an attorney you have to complete two years of law articles. During that time you will work in a law firm as a “candidate attorney” under the guidance of an attorney.

CV and cover letter

Your CV and cover letter will be doing your talking for you for the duration of your search for vacation work and articles. It is worth putting some time into them and giving them that extra attention.

Interview Skills

Interviews need not be as difficult as they are made out to be.

A few simple guidelines can take you a long way:

Dress well. Not to flashy but wear a clean well fitted suit.

Show the firm that you are responsible. Emphasize your position as the head of the debating/chess/library club. It can be in your favour to come across as conservative because this indicates that you are focused and career orientated. Law firms like this.

How long does it take to become a lawyer in South Africa?

The standard requirement before one can practice as a lawyer is completing an LLB degree which takes 4 years. Alternatively, some students choose to first study a BCom or BA which takes 3 years and then study another 2 years to complete their LLB.

What qualifications do I need to be a lawyer in South Africa?

The Qualification of Legal Practitioners Amendment Act of 1997 confirms that an LLB Law Degree is required to practice law in South Africa. The degree is required to be achieved from an accredited South African law school in South Africa which could be one of the leading Universities in South Africa and/or a college.

What subjects is needed to become a lawyer?

You should study English, government, history and public speaking. These courses will help you prepare for a law career. Philosophy, economics and mathematics are also important subjects to consider. Get involved in student activities such as debate teams, student government councils and other organizations.

How much does it cost to study law in South Africa ?

Different South African law schools have different tuition fees, eg University of Pretoria charges R31,430 to R40,000 to South African students for their taught LLM courses and international students have to pay an additional R3,130.

Is there a demand for lawyers in South Africa?

Lawyers that are in the litigation sector are known to always be in high demand in South Africa. Therefore, lawyers that are experienced in areas like complex civil litigation, commercial litigation, insurance defense, labor and employment, and other related niches are always in high demand in the country.

What type of lawyer pays most?

Medical Lawyers typically make the highest yearly salary. This type of lawyer provides their clients with a variety of legal advisement and services related to medical law. This includes the areas of health care law, personal injury, medical malpractice and a variety of other related areas.

Is law a good career in South Africa?

There are various career options for lawyers in South Africa – you can either be admitted as an attorney and/or as an advocate. Choosing law as a career can be rewarding and exciting but it also requires hard work, dedication and a high level of commitment.

How much do lawyers earn in South Africa ?

The decision to become an attorney does pay off for many people. The average lawyer salary in the United States is R2130751.72 at last count, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).