Advocate (Occupation Code : 261106)

Scarce Skill

Pleads cases before civil, criminal and industrial courts and other tribunals.

Accepting briefs and pleading in the higher court.

Evaluating findings and developing strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases in courts of law.

Gathering evidence to formulate a defence by means such as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case.

Researching legal principles, statutes and previous court decisions related to specific cases.

Guiding witnesses to give their evidence by asking questions and testing the truth and value of the evidence given by witnesses by cross-questioning them.

Arguing a case for a client to persuade a Judge or Magistrate or Arbitrator.

Drafting 'arguments' that set out the facts and law relevant to the decisions to be decided.

Negotiating with colleagues over the settlement or the conduct of cases.

Acting as prosecutor on behalf of the Government.

Occupation Regulation
Advocates are generally organised into societies in the major centres in South Africa. These are historically known as "Bars". The regional Bars, or societies of advocates, are the constituent members of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB).

As the body representing the Advocates' profession, the purpose of the Bar is to maintain professional standards and conduct among practicing advocates and to enforce discipline amongst its member if necessary. The Bar enforces a strict code of ethical conduct and professional integrity to which member Advocates are required to adhere. Membership of the Bar is not compulsory, but is highly recommended.

Learning Pathway Description

Both pathways to becoming an advocate require a National Senior Certificate - Degree  Entrance with English as a subject. In the first pathway you enter directly into a four or five year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programme at a university. In the second learning pathway you first complete a three-year Bachelor Degree with law subjects after which you enter a two-year LLB programme.

After completion of the LLB both pathways follow the same steps. The one-year internship programme for Advocates, called a 'Pupillage', is available through application to the Bar. During the year of pupillage you write the examination of the National Bar Examination Board. You will then be in a position to apply to the Bar to be included on the 'roll' of advocates.

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