Studying law in South Africa. Good or Bad idea?

Studying law in South Africa. Good or Bad idea?

lady justice

For many young Zimbabweans who would like to be far from home for their university studies, South Africa is an easy and simple option. With the current economic crisis in Zimbabwe and the unemployment rate at 90% and increasing, most students would then want to find employment in South Africa after having completed their degree.

This articles main focus will be on the law degree also known as the LLB which is a four year degree by which a student graduates with honors. Studying in South Africa is a great option as most Zimbabwean universities require nothing less than 12 points for Advanced level to be admitted into a law degree. This entry requirement is a great difficulty for many students who are passionate about wanting to be attorneys however missed the 12 point mark. The South African universities tend to have less strict requirements depending of course on the university chosen. This is a great advantage for most students. South Africa is also a lot more affordable than choosing to go overseas where tuition fees can be over $20 000 per annum.

It is important to note however that while it may be easier to study law in South Africa, becoming an attorney in the country is an uphill battle. With most Zimbabweans wanting to seek employment outside the country, being an attorney is possibly one of the toughest careers to get into in South Africa. It is important to know this before deciding to study law in South Africa with the intention to work in South Africa.

The difficulty lies in the attorney’s act of South Africa which makes it a pre-requisite that an individual must be a South African citizen or a permanent resident before being admitted into the bar. One might be wondering how this is a hurdle seeing as that one can apply for either South African citizenship or permanent residency. The requirements for these permits require that an individual at least have worked and paid taxes within the republic for a minimum of five years, the study years are not included in this calculation. This essentially makes it very difficult for a foreigner to be admitted as an attorney, find any work, articles or pursue a legal career. These are all facts that students applying to South African universities to study law must be aware of.

By Annet Matebwe

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