School for Legal Practice - Attendance Centres

Attendance - 9 attendance School centres
Bloemfontein | Cape Town | Durban | East London | Johannesburg | Polokwane | Port Elizabeth | Potchefstroom | Pretoria

2018 School for Legal Practice application form:

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Terms and Conditions of Registration

NB: Please submit the application form to the centre of your choice by email, fax or post.

What is the School for Legal Practice?
The School for Legal Practice, established by the Law Society of South Africa in 1990, is a practical law school. It offers an intensive, postgraduate vocational course at one of the School’s nine centres situated around the country.

After a student obtains an LLB degree from a South African university, one of the main requirements for admission as an attorney is two years of service under a contract of articles of clerkship with a South African firm of attorneys or two years’ recognised community service. If the prospective attorney attends a full-time practical law school, the two years are reduced to one year.

In addition to the reduction in articles, a student who attends the School for Legal Practice can sit for the Attorneys’ Admission Examination. This is in terms of the Attorneys Act as amended.

The full-time course takes six months to complete. The distance-learning (UNISA) course runs from January to December each year.

Intake of students
Depending on the centre, the course may be offered once or twice a year. Some centres offer the course during the day and after-hours and some on either basis. The after-hours course is called the ‘night school’ and it accommodates candidate attorneys who are serving articles during the day. The distance learning school is offered jointly with the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Admission requirements and selection

  • An applicant must be have completed an LLB degree or be due to be awarded the degree before the start of the course. Applicants with a BProc degree awarded not later than 31 December 2004 will also be considered.
  • A selection committee will consider the applications. The committee may require applicants to attend interviews.
  • The committee will give consideration to an applicant’s academic record.
  • Interest by the applicant in continuing to work in the attorneys’ profession will stand in the applicant’s favour.

Important notes

  • There are a limited number of places available at each centre. Therefore, it is important that applicants submit their forms timeously by the closing date.
  • The School’s Board of Control reserves the right to change dates and/or cancel any course if the number of applicants is not sufficient. Applicants will be given sufficient notice of cancellation.
  • Students are responsible for their own arrangements and expenses with regards to accommodation and travelling. Students may wish to defer making accommodation and travelling arrangements to attend the School until it is clear that the course is not cancelled.
  • Subject to availability of funds, financial assistance may be made available in deserving cases in the form of interest-free loans. Loan application forms can be obtained from the Director of the relevant centre and must be returned before the School’s commencement date.
  • The medium of instruction is primarily English.
  • All students will be subjected to literacy and numeracy testing as competency in these areas is essential in legal practice. In the event of unsatisfactory performance, further training at the School will be compulsory.

Transitional provisions relating to qualifications in the Legal Practice Act, 2014, state that the training course presented at a Practical Legal Training School of the Law Society of South Africa; or any other training course approved by any existing society before the date referred to in s 119(4) for the purpose of training persons to qualify as legal practitioners, must be regarded as having been presented or approved pursuant to the regulations pertaining to practical vocational training.

Student evaluation and certification

  • A student’s progress is monitored throughout the course and progress reports are issued periodically.
  • Assessment is done at the end of each module and is followed by appropriate remedial action, if necessary. The major part of the assessment is skills based.
  • Various awards are presented to students for exceptional performance during the course.
  • Students who complete the course to the satisfaction of the School Board receive attendance certificates. The Law Society of South Africa awards special certificates to those students whose performance is regarded as outstanding.