Attorneys give advice to clients regarding their rights and obligations on matters relating to the law. They serve a variety of clients including business organizations, local authorities, the government and individuals.
Attorneys have different areas of specialization, however, most are involved with basic activities relating to the representation of clients both in civil and criminal cases. In civil cases an attorney may assist a client with contracts, leases, wills and trusts. In criminal cases an attorney may act on behalf of a client charged with a criminal offence. In every case an attorney needs to consult the client to determine the nature of the problem and to give advice.
Areas of specialization may include the following:
- business and corporate law;
- civil and criminal litigation;
- property transactions;
- estate planning and business;
- patent law;
- personal advice.
- being a respected member of one's community
- the challenge and variety of the work
- working with people
- being able to have one's own practice
- the financial rewards of a successful practice
- working long hours, evenings, and weekends
- preparing cases and talking to clients
- the years of study required before you can practise
- the competition and pressure in this field
An attorney should:
- enjoy working with people;
- be able to communicate well both in writing and in speech;
- be able to reason logically;
- be able to interpret problems quickly and correctly;
- be honest and reliable;
- have integrity;
- have stamina;
- have a logical mind and above average intelligence.
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: English
Recommended Subjects: History, Languages, Accounting
Degree: only two academic qualifications are presently recognized for the purpose of admission as an attorney, these two courses can be obtained at any university in South Africa:
- BProc degree: This is a four-year university course mainly offered by universities for the qualification of persons who wish to be admitted as attorneys. A person with a BProc degree cannot be admitted to practise as an advocate.
- LLB degree: The LLB degree is a postgraduate qualification and takes at least two years to complete at a university, depending on the nature of the B degree. A person with a LLB degree can practise as an advocate or an attorney, depending on the person's own choice.
The attorney's admission examination, which is presented by the Law Society, must be successfully completed before admission. A person must complete at least two years under a contract of articles (service at a private law firm or state attorney) or a service contract (community service at a legal aid institution).
- business firms
- central, provincial or local government
- law schools
- legal aid societies such as non-profit organizations
- self-employment, in private practice
Law Society of SA
P O Box 36626
Menlo Park, 1729
Tel: (012) 362-1729
Fax: (012) 362-0969