How To Become An Advocate in South Africa

01:02 Monrovia 0 Comments

A common mistake people make is to confuse an advocate and an attorney. A simplified distinction is that  advocates are specialists and attorneys do all types of legal work. Advocates are business managers who decide when they can be hired to represent clients,they do not have direct contact with clients and are considered to be in a referral field. Clients see attorneys first to address their legal problems, General advice is given by attorneys.Lawyers can form partnerships with one another and establish professional firms or companies. Advocates are sole practitioners. They do not form partnerships. Advocates can become members of The Bar.

What is an Advocate?

Advocates are experts in the art and practice of presenting and arguing cases before a court. Prior to 1994, only advocates could present cases before the Supreme Courts or the Appeal Court in Bloemfontein. The newly renamed High Courts, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court allow attorneys to appear. However, advocates still present the vast majority of cases in these courts. Advocates are required to have a good understanding of the law and facts, as well as a high level of judgment and the ability present a case coherently and clearly. Advocates must prepare each case carefully, reading and seeking advice, as well as clearly defining the issues that need to be decided. Advocates can also provide legal opinions and assist with the drafting legal documents. This is required for every walk of life, whether it be commercial, industrial, or constitutional. Advocates provide legal assistance to clients in need through PRO DEO, AMICUS CURIAE and PRO BONO appearances before the court. This is a way to work for the good society at reduced rates, and sometimes without remuneration.

 The following are some of the skills an advocate needs and a summarized "job description".

  • To understand, explain, and persuade others using verbal and written skills.
  • Reads many documents and absorbs a lot information.
  • You will be able to find the law in both books and computer databases.
  • Listening skills are used to understand the stories of clients and the evidence presented by witnesses in court.
  • Draft pleadings, which are documents that clearly state the issues the court or arbitrator must resolve.
  • Counsels clients and attorneys on difficult decisions and provides advice.
  • Collaborates with colleagues to negotiate settlements or the conduct cases.
  • Guide witnesses to testify by asking them questions.
  • Drafts of "arguments" that set out facts and laws relevant to the decisions being made.
  • A case is presented to a client in order to convince a Judge Magistrate or Arbitrator.

To become an advocate, you must meet certain requirements.

A bachelor's degree with English level 6 (60%-79%), mathematics level 5 (60%-69%%) or maths literacy 6 (70%-79%). Each university has its minimum requirements. To secure your spot, it is better to exceed the minimum requirements.

An LLB degree from any South African university is the minimum requirement to be admitted as an advocate. Once you have obtained your LLB degree from any South African University, you can apply to the High Court for admission as an advocate. You will also be added to the Department of Justice's "roll of advocates". The applicant and the aspiring advocate must prove to the High Court that they are both qualified and able to be admitted as advocates. After being admitted as an Advocate, the applicant will be able to practice law in South Africa as well as appear before any court. To benefit from the strong collective spirit of the legal fraternity within a Society of Advocates, it is usual to join one of the Bars after admission. The custom states that an advocate is called the Bar. It is not a job, but a calling. Practising at the Bar is a way of living. An apprenticeship, also known as a pupillage, is required for an advocate to become a member. The Bar offers training and learning opportunities for advocates during this year. This prepares them or her to practice the rigours and informs them about professional standards and conduct among practicing advocates and the code and professional integrity to which all advocates must adhere.

After completing a year of pupillage, the advocate must pass the National Bar Examination of the General Council of the Bar to become a member of the Bar. General Counsel of The Bar. The Bar's General Counsel is basically an association of all South African Bars. These are not individual advocates, but representatives of the Societies of Advocates located in the major centres of South Africa. This is the principal body that represents and regulates the profession of advocates at a national level. General remarks. This overview focused on the practice of advocates in private law and members of the Bar in that sector. While some advocates choose to practice without becoming members, they don't have the same privileges, support or fraternity as members of a Bar. Advocates working in the private sector are often employed as legal advisors within companies or firms. They do not practice in the courts. The National Prosecuting Authority employs State Advocates as public prosecutors. Some advocates also work as advisors in state departments or organs.

Promotional opportunities

- Senior Counsel

- Judge of either the High Court or Constitutional Court.

What is the average salary of an Advocate in South Africa?

A minimum of one year experience is required for an entry-level attorney to be paid an average total salary (tips, bonus and overtime) of R16 000 per month and R117,000 annually. An attorney who has more experience and is at a higher level than a junior attorney generally earns R406, 946 annually.

Are advocates needed in South Africa?

South Africa's litigation sector lawyers are always in high demand. South Africa is always looking for lawyers who are skilled in complex civil litigation, insurance defense, litigation, labour and employment and other related niches.


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