How Many Years To Study Law In South Africa
In South Africa, the duration of studying law depends on the degree or qualification you pursue. There are two main pathways to becoming a lawyer in South Africa:
- LLB Degree (Bachelor of Laws):
The LLB degree is the most common route to becoming a lawyer in South Africa. It is an undergraduate degree that typically takes four years to complete if studied full-time. The LLB program covers various aspects of law, including constitutional law, criminal law, contract law, and more. Upon completing the LLB degree, graduates are eligible to apply for admission to the legal profession in South Africa.
- Postgraduate LLB:
If you already have a non-law degree, you can pursue a postgraduate LLB program, which is also known as an LLB conversion course. This program is typically two years long and allows graduates from other disciplines to study law and qualify as lawyers.
It’s important to note that after completing the LLB degree or the postgraduate LLB, aspiring lawyers must also complete a practical vocational training course called “Articles of Clerkship” or a “Legal Practice Course” (LPC). This practical training period, which lasts for approximately two years, is necessary for admission as an attorney in South Africa. During this time, individuals work under the supervision of a qualified attorney to gain hands-on experience in legal practice.
In summary, the total duration to become a qualified attorney in South Africa varies depending on the educational pathway chosen:
- LLB Degree: Approximately 4 years of full-time study.
- Postgraduate LLB: Approximately 2 years of full-time study.
- Practical Training (Articles of Clerkship/LPC): Approximately 2 years.
Therefore, the total time required to become a qualified attorney can range from 4 to 6 years, depending on the educational path and successful completion of practical training.