Requirements to Study Law in South Africa


Ever dreamed of becoming a South African lawyer? As you are reading this post, you are one step closer as I would be sharing the requirements to study law in South Africa.

Being a lawyer is exciting as it sounds but the laws in SA state that you have to pass through some criteria before becoming one. You need to go to school, get a degree in law, sit for and pass an admissions examination and work for several years.

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study law in south africa

List of Requirements to Study Law in South Africa

The basic requirements on your journey in becoming a lawyer include:

– Education Requirements:

According to SA laws, it is necessary and compulsory to complete a four (4) year bachelor’s program and get an LLB degree before becoming a lawyer.

The LLB degree can be obtained from law schools in South Africa. Also, having a foreign degree but in the same field is also accepted.

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Another way to go around this is by obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Law and then, completing a two year LLB program.

All of this would take up to five years in contrast to the other method which takes just four (4) years.

You would need to take courses such as Foundations of South African law, South African private law, constitutional law, criminal law, intellectual property, evidence and African Customary Law.


– Experience:

You would need to gather some experience in the field of law before you can start practising on your own.

It is required and necessary to either work at a law firm (private or public) or volunteer at a legal aid organization. This just brings you one step closer to being an attorney. It takes one to five years but it all depends on the school attended and experience garnered so far.

For those who already have at least five (5) years of relevant legal experience which include experience as a regional prosecutor or magistrate are exempted from the real world experience requirement.

– Attorney’s Admission Exam:

This comes after the six months real-world experience has been completed or taking of a legal training course.

To legally practise law in South Africa, it is required that one must take and pass the Admission’s examinations. This is to test an individual’s knowledge of legal procedures, and so many other aspects of the legal field.

– Screening:

It is important to note that you have to be screened. An aspirant must be interviewed and screened by a senior member of the Law Society in South Africa.

All of these above are the study requirements to become a lawyer in South Africa.

In conclusion, it is important to note that before all of these requirements stated above, there are some basic necessities you must fulfil and they include:

  • You must be a citizen or legal resident in South Africa.
  • You must at least be 21 years of age before you get the green light to become a lawyer.


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