How to become an advocate in South Africa

Advocates according to Go Legal, are self employed but are generally members of a “bar council” which is a body that helps to oversee and guide the profession. They are primarily experts in the art of presenting and arguing cases in court. This requires a mastery of law and the facts of the case. Good judgment and the ability to present a case clearly and coherently are an absolute must. Each case requires good preparation and organization.

Steps on how to become an advocate in South Africa?

According to, to become a lawyer in South Africa you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • A person who wants to practice as a lawyer, either as an attorney or an advocate, must undergo one year of vocational training before being permitted to practice as an independent professional lawyer.
  • Professional training to become an advocate is provided by the constituent ‘Societies of Advocates’ of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa.
  • Pupillage, beginning on 15 January and ending 31 December, including an examination is a prerequisite to join the Bar.
  • During pupillage a pupil advocate will be paired with an experienced advocate to see firsthand how real work is carried out in chambers and in the courts. Pupillage is a learning experience, not a job, and is unpaid.
  • Pupillage consists of practical courtcraft, legal document drafting skills and procedural law.
  • At some Bars lectures on practice are given.
  • Information regarding pupillage and of the pupillage syllabus can be obtained from the Bars.

Read: What Subjects are Needed to Become a Lawyer in Grade 10

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