How To Become A Lawyer In South Africa

How To Become A Lawyer In South Africa

Becoming a lawyer in South Africa is a rewarding and challenging career path. As a respected and influential profession, it requires hard work, dedication, and a strong academic background. If you are interested in pursuing a legal career in South Africa, there are a number of steps you must follow.

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  1. Educational Requirements
  2. Practical Training
  3. Admission to the Profession
    1. Conclusion

Educational Requirements

To become a practicing lawyer in South Africa, you must hold a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from a recognized institution. Admission to an LLB program typically requires a National Senior Certificate with university exemption, or equivalent. Some universities also require candidates to pass the National Benchmark Test or similar admission tests.

Applicants who hold a degree in another field can also pursue an LLB through a conversion course. This involves completing additional courses to meet the entry requirements for LLB programs.

Practical Training

In addition to academic qualifications, aspiring lawyers in South Africa must also complete a period of practical training to qualify for admission. This involves completing a two-year internship with a law firm or legal department under the supervision of a senior lawyer.

During this time, trainee lawyers are exposed to various aspects of legal practice, including drafting legal documents, conducting research, and appearing in court. This hands-on experience is invaluable in preparing trainees for the realities of legal practice.

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Admission to the Profession

Upon completion of the LLB degree and practical training requirements, candidates must apply to be admitted to the legal profession in South Africa. This involves passing the Attorneys Admission exams, which test legal knowledge and practical skills. Candidates are also required to provide character references and undergo a thorough background check.

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After admission, new lawyers are typically employed as candidate attorneys and work under the supervision of qualified attorneys for a period of two years. During this time, candidate attorneys continue to gain practical experience and develop their legal skills.


Becoming a lawyer in South Africa is a challenging but rewarding career path. Candidates must complete a rigorous academic program, complete a period of practical training, and pass the Attorneys Admission exams to qualify for admission to the legal profession. With hard work, perseverance, and dedication, however, it is possible to enter this influential and respected profession.

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