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Lawyers and advocates are essential to society, offering professional legal advice and representing clients in both civil and criminal cases. Some lawyers even take on pro bono cases to assist those who cannot afford legal fees. A career in law demands significant dedication and commitment, both academically and professionally. Despite its competitive nature, it is a stimulating and rewarding career path.

Career Paths in Law

Studying law can lead to various careers within the legal profession, including:

  • Attorney
  • Advocate
  • Jurist
  • Paralegal

Difference Between a Lawyer and an Advocate

Attorneys

  • Work Environment: Typically work in law firms.
  • Responsibilities: Meeting with clients, drafting contracts, and providing legal advice.
  • Client Interaction: Serve as the initial point of contact for legal advice or assistance.

Advocates

  • Work Environment: Primarily operate in courtrooms.
  • Responsibilities: Argue cases in front of a judge, provide legal opinions, and draft legal documents within their specialization.
  • Membership: Usually members of a bar council and must possess high-level judgment and representation skills.
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Obtaining a Law Qualification

Proficiency in English is crucial for studying law due to the extensive reading, writing, and interpretation of legal texts required.

Educational Pathways:

  • LLB Degree: A 4-year program.
  • BCom or BA Law Degree + LLB: A 3-year undergraduate degree followed by a 2-year LLB degree.

Studying a BCom degree before an LLB can provide a strong foundation in accounting, business, and economics.

Lawyer Salaries

  • Junior Lawyer/Attorney: Average salary of R180,000 per annum.
  • Experienced Lawyer/Attorney: Average salary of R220,000 per annum.

Lawyers with skills in litigation, complex case management, contract negotiation, and legal compliance tend to earn higher salaries.

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