(full-time and part-time study)
The LLB is a four-year undergraduate degree. Students who already have a three-year degree, such
as a Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Arts, with Legal Studies as a major subject, can complete
the LLB in two years.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS:
• A National Senior Certificate with degree admission; English Home Language level 5 or
English First Additional Language Level 6;
• Mathematical Literacy level 5 or Mathematics level 3;
• Life Orientation level 4; minimum composite Academic Point Score 32 excluding Life
The LLB degree is your gateway to a wide range of global careers in maritime law, environmental
law, trademark and patent law, constitutional law, labour law, international trade law, criminal law,
human rights law, family law, and many others.
But law is not just for lawyers. Virtually every public and private institution of any significance
operating in today’s economy employs legally qualified staff. The LLB degree is the ideal foundation
for anyone intent on a career in top management.
THE MANY FASCINATING AND REWARDING CAREER PATHS OPEN TO THOSE
WITH AN LLB DEGREE INCLUDE:
In South Africa, legal practitioners are divided into attorneys and advocates. LLB graduates qualify
for the specialised professional training necessary to be admitted to practice as either an attorney
or an advocate.
The attorney is the first person to be approached for legal advice by members of the public.
Attorneys may appear in the Magistrates’ Courts and an attorney who has an LLB degree and has
practiced for four years may appear in the higher courts as well. Attorneys also negotiate and draft
contracts, wills and other important legal documents and act as executors of deceased estates.
Attorneys may go on to qualify as notaries and conveyancers. Notaries prepare and execute
documents requiring special formalities, whilst conveyancers register transfers of immovable
property, mortgage bonds, and servitudes and so on.
Law graduates who want to become an attorney have to serve articles of clerkship with a practicing
attorney for two years (or one year plus a period of practical training at an approved institution) and
write an examination.
Attorneys may practice solo, but they generally prefer to practice in partnership with other
attorneys. A newly-qualified attorney will often work for a few years as a professional assistant in an
established firm of attorneys, and then become a junior partner in that firm. Alternatively, s/he may
establish his/her own firm.
The advocate’s main function is to conduct court cases and give advice and written opinions on
complex legal matters. S/he is not approached directly by members of the public, but is briefed
by an attorney on behalf of the client. Advocates may appear in all courts, but they generally
concentrate on High Court litigation.
Most advocates practice as a member of a Bar – a professional society that regulates the conduct of
its members and enforces a high standard of ethics. Bars are located in the major cities where High
Courts are situated. Advocates may not practice in partnership.
An admitted advocate who wishes to practice as a member of a Bar is required to undergo 12
months of pupillage with a practising advocate, followed by a written examination. Unlike articled
clerks, pupil advocates are unpaid and must have the financial means to support themselves during
Careers in Law and Management Studies 9
Prospects at the Bar depend largely on the individual’s ability, industry, personality, experience and
reputation. It is often advisable for an aspirant advocate to first qualify and practise as an attorney
for a few years, in order to gain a reputation and experience.
An advocate who has practiced for a number of years may apply to his/her Bar to become a Senior
Advocate, or “take Silk”. Silks are briefed when a matter is particularly difficult or important, and they
are often assisted by a junior advocate.
THE PUBLIC SERVICE
Large numbers of LLB graduates are employed in the criminal justice system, as state advocates,
public prosecutors, and magistrates.
Law graduates are employed by the State Attorney, as civil magistrates and as State Law Advisers in
government departments. The Deeds Registry, the Master’s Office and the diplomatic service also
employ large numbers of law graduates.
Large public and private sector organisations often employ in-house lawyers to handle their legal
requirements. Legal advisers do not represent their employers in court, but instruct attorneys. They
may appear at quasi-judicial tribunals, such as arbitrations and administrative hearings.
Apart from providing legal advice, drafting contracts and other important documents, and assisting
with the recovery of debts, legal advisers often negotiate and structure major business deals.
Experience as a legal adviser is often a gateway to promotion to a senior management or executive
position. Legal training equips a person to consider problems rationally and objectively, to speak
and write persuasively, to pay attention to detail, and to appreciate the wider implications of
decisions – all qualities that are highly valued in business.
Law graduates with an aptitude for finance are especially sought-after in banking and insurance,
whilst those with an interest in labour law often end up specialising in labour relations and human
LAW IS NOT JUST FOR LAWYERS
Law students acquire excellent business skills during their studies, and sound professional training.
Many top business executives hold LLB degrees.
Politicians need to understand human rights and constitutional issues, and to appreciate how law
is made, interpreted and enforced. Many of South Africa’s top politicians hold LLB degrees.
Journalists benefit from a good grasp of the legal system, court procedure, human rights and
constitutional law. A law degree is useful for investigative journalists, as well as for court and
Law also offers a rich field for academic teaching and research, as well as many outlets for legal
writing and publishing.
Because the field of law is so broad and touches on almost every area of life, the LLB degree offers
a general foundation for a career that requires logical thinking, being able to structure rational
arguments, and to express those arguments persuasively.