Attorneys give advice to clients regarding their rights and obligations on matters relating to the law. They serve a variety of clients including business organizations, local authorities, the government and individuals. 

Attorneys have different areas of specialisation, however, most are involved with basic activities relating to the representation of clients both in civil and criminal cases. In civil cases an attorney may assist a client with contracts, leases, wills and trusts. In criminal cases an attorney may act on behalf of a client charged with a criminal offence. In every case an attorney needs to consult the client to determine the nature of the problem and to give advice.

Areas of specialisation may include the following:

  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation
  • Property Transactions
  • Taxation
  • Estate Planning and Business
  • Patent Law
  • Personal Advice

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy working with people
  • excellent communication skills, both in writing and in speech
  • able to reason logically
  • able to interpret problems quickly and correctly
  • absolute honesty, integrity and reliability
  • stamina
  • above average intelligence

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate (matric), or equivalent with a Bachelor's Degree pass 
Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None

In addition, check the university admission requirements to see if you qualify for the programme you want to do.

What to Study

Degree: the only academic qualification that is presently recognised for the purpose of admission as an attorney is an LLB degree (the course duration of which is not less than four years) obtained at any university in South Africa.  

The attorney’s admission examination, which is presented by the Law Society, must be successfully completed before admission. A person must complete at least two years under a contract of articles (service at a private law firm or state attorney) or a service contract (community service at a legal aid institution).


  • business firms
  • central, provincial or local government
  • law schools
  • legal aid societies such as non-profit organisations
  • self-employment, in private practice

Further Information

Law Society of SA
304 Brooks Street, Menlo Park, Pretoria
Docex 82, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 366-8800

Getting Started

  • arrange to speak to an attorney to obtain first-hand information about this field
  • try to obtain vacation work in a law office
  • attend open court sessions
  • join a debating society and take part in discussions

Programmes by Study Institutions


Related Occupations

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