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Advocate

by Staff Reporter
If you believe that every person has the right to justice and you aim to uphold the law in the best interest of the people, a career as an Advocate could be for you.

Career Overview

The role of an Advocate is to ensure that every person is heard. As an Advocate, it will be your responsibility to see that your client is fairly judged and you should always act in their best interests.  Advocates will be acting as a specialist Lawyer – you will be able to practice on behalf of your clients in both the lower and higher courts in South Africa.

Within the Law specification of Advocacy, there are specific Advocates. Namely:

  1. Patient
  2. Victim
  3. Family
  4. Legislative
  5. Community Health

Required School Subjects

If you would like to pursue a career as an Advocate then you will need the following subjects in order to study Law at a tertiary institution:

  • English

Recommended:

  • History
  • Economics
  • Xhosa/Afrikaans/Zulu

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in Law:

  • Stellenbosch University – no specific APS 
  • University of Cape Town (UCT) – Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 510 for guaranteed entrance

Required Qualification/s

In order to become a qualified and practicing Advocate you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete either a four year LLB or a three year undergraduate in Law (BCom, BA or BSC), coupled with a two year LLB
  2. Completing your Pupillage – this includes shadowing a qualified Advocate and passing your exams to join The Bar
  3. In essence, those are the hurdles between you and becoming a practicing Advocate. 

Required Skills

The following skills are needed in order to be a successful Advocate:

  • The ability to listen to and comprehend clients’ stories
  • Reading and retaining a lot of factual information
  • Negotiating skills
  • The ability to give clear and concise advice
  • The ability to remain detached from your clients’ cases and not get involved personally
  • High and uncompromising ethical standards

Where you can work

Advocates are employed in the field of Law in South Africa. As an Advocate, your clients will not personally approach you but rather other Lawyers will refer them to you.  Advocates will be able to practice in both the High and Low/Magistrates’ Courts in South Africa.

Working Hours

Your working hours will depend on your cases. A very intense case will obviously demand longer hours. You can expect to work the standard eight-hour day but, more often than not, you will find yourself spending many extra hours doing research in order to justly represent your client.

Expected Salary

The field of Law is generally associated with a lot of money. This, of course, depends on your status as an Advocate and the field of Advocacy that you work in.  Here is an overview of the average yearly earnings for a South African Advocate in the different fields of Advocacy:

Patient – R200 000

Victim – R270 000 

Family – R245 000

Legislative – R480 000

Community Health – R250 000 

It is important to note that these are merely averages. As an Advocate, you will earn according to your experience and level of expertise. Some Advocates earn up to R45 000 per day!

What to expect

As a qualified and practicing Advocate, you should expect a career filled with helping your clients get what is best for them and society as a whole. You can expect to meet many new and interesting people along your journey that will be filled with hours of research, negotiation and fun! You will have the opportunity to serve South Africa by working towards justice in the country.

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