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The Legal Practice Council in partnership with SASSETA launches pilot PVT pupilage project

The Legal Practice Council is proud to announce a national pilot project that will be supporting 24 graduates who will be doing practical vocational training (PVT) as pupils in 2021. The pilot project, which is the first of its kind in the country, is funded by the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA).

“In line with our mandate of promoting access to the profession and access to justice, we approached SASSETA last year with the view of forging a partnership to benefit law graduates who were interested in undergoing compulsory legal training as pupils which is necessary for admission as an advocate, but who were unable to register for this training due to financial constraints and other socio-economic challenges” said Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu, Chairperson, Legal Practice Council. It must be noted that SASSETA has in the past only funded law graduates who are training to become attorneys – and they continue to do so.

The project will provide these 24 pupils with much needed financial support in the form of a monthly stipend for 12 months during their practical vocational training. The lack of funds is currently one of the major challenges that is faced by law graduates who want to do pupillage.

“Various advocates bodies have been providing PVT contracts for a limited number of pupils nationally. We are aware of the challenges that many graduates are faced with when it comes to accessing practical vocational training contracts, especially those who wish to do pupillage. We believe that this pilot project is just the beginning and we are looking forward to working with the profession and other stakeholders in coming up with innovative solutions to address the challenges that exist for graduates who want to train for admission as legal practitioners” Ms Matolo-Dlepu continued.

The Council thanks SASSETA for coming on board for this pilot project and is looking forward to engaging with other stakeholders who are committed to the transformation of and increase in access to the profession.

“We have additionally approved the funding for the 19 law clinics as we aware of the important role they play not only in assisting ordinary members of the public but by also training law graduates and thereby affording them an opportunity to enter the profession. As the Council we have also made sure that we continue to fund some accredited legal education institutions which assist in increasing access to the profession We know that there is a lot of work that lies ahead for us, but we are committed to working together with all stakeholders to achieve our mandate” concluded Matolo-Dlepu.

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