Requirements to Study Law in South Africa

Did you dream to become a South African lawyer? Reading this post is a step closer to becoming a lawyer. This article will provide you with all the information on how to become a lawyer in South Africa.

To become a certified lawyer in South Africa is an exciting thing. As we all know that nothing good can be achieved easily, the law of SA states that you have to pass so many criteria to become one. A student that wants to become a layer will have to school, obtain a degree in law, work for years in a legal setting and pass an admission exam. Also, to become a lawyer in South Africa you must be at least 21-years-old and a citizen or legal resident of South Africa.

This article is going to help you on your journey of becoming a lawyer in South Africa.

Requirements to become a lawyer in South Africa

Requirements to Become a Lawyer in South Africa

Here are the requirements for students that want to study law in South Africa:

Education Requirements:

To become a South African lawyer, you will have to complete a four years bachelor’s degree program and get an LLB degree to become a lawyer. You can obtain your LLB degree from law schools in South Africa. Also, a foreign degree in the same field is accepted.

Students that have a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in law can also become a layer by completing two year LLB program in law. This will take up to five years unline obtaining a degree directly in law, which takes four (4) years.

In your journey of becoming a lawyer, you will come across these courses; Foundations of South African law, South African private law, constitutional law, criminal law, intellectual property, evidence and African Customary Law.


After meeting all the education requirements to be a lawyer, you will have to work to gather experience before you can practice on your own. You can either work at a law firm (public or private) or you can volunteer at a legal aid organization. This is actually a step closer to becoming an attorney, it usually takes up to five years depending on the school attended and experience gathered so far.

Those that have at least five (5) years experience as a regional prosecutor or magistrate are exempted from the real world experience requirements.

Attorney’s Admission Examination

After completing the six months of real-world experience or after taken a legal training course, students will have to write the Attorney’s Admission Examination. It is compulsory for all students to take and pass the Admission examination to legally practice law in Nigeria. The aim of the exam is to test an individual’s knowledge of legal procedures, and so many other aspects of the legal field.

All aspirants will be screened and interviewed by a senior member of the Law Society in South Africa. These are what you need to become a certified lawyer in SA.


There are 17 law schools in South Africa, these universities are one of the best in Africa. Below are the top universities to study law:

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