‘A breeding ground for leading legal practitioners in South Africa’ is how University of KwaZulu-Natal alumnus and associate attorney Mr Delon Small describes his alma mater.
‘Studying at UKZN gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the best legal minds. It has also granted me access to a diverse space that is rich in culture,’ said Small, who is currently based at the Johannesburg branch of Spence Attorneys.
Admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa earlier this year, Small obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree cum laude at UKZN in 2017, going on to serve his practical vocational training at the Cape Town office of one of South Africa’s leading corporate law firms – Bowmans.
‘I chose law because I wanted a career that not only best suited my personality but also allowed me to help others. I have always enjoyed spaces that are competitive, and tasks that push my limits. The legal profession is both competitive and demanding,’ he said.
‘During my time at UKZN I was able to establish a solid network with my fellow students. I also developed a strong work ethic and broad perspective. This has helped me conquer the many challenges I faced while working towards becoming an admitted attorney.’
Small said the quality of legal practitioners bred by UKZN was a ‘source of inspiration’ for him.
‘UKZN is the breeding ground for leading legal practitioners in South Africa, and I one day hope to be further proof of this. I hope to be in a more impactful position. Becoming a judge or justice one day is definitely something I am considering,’ he said.
Despite being relatively new to legal practice, he is starting to make his mark – not only by being signed to a law firm with big potential, but also by contributing towards improving public access to legal knowledge: Small has already had three of his articles published on legal news platforms LexisNexis, De Rebus and Go Legal.
Small is also experienced in Dispute Resolution and Corporate Law, having gained invaluable training while serving his articles of clerkship through practicing in the following areas: Commercial Litigation, Employment, Shipping & Logistics, and Mergers & Acquisitions.
Small advises prospective law students to ‘dream big’ and remember that change is often implemented by those who believe they can make a difference. ‘The legal profession is a noble one, and those who pursue it should aspire to implement change that will help improve society,’ he said.
‘Law school will see one enduring many uphill battles, but these do not need to be fought alone. Help each other, be a support system for the next, and do your best to learn from each other. As the saying goes, “There is strength in numbers”— yes, but even more so in collective goodwill’.