As we enter the season of goodwill, it’s a good time to reflect on the difference Sabinet has been able to make in the lives of others.
Over the past year, Sabinet has committed more than R6 million in sponsorships to several initiatives in a bid to uplift and support law students and members of the legal profession.
As a local leader in facilitating access to credible information sources, Sabinet has an ongoing commitment to developing South Africa’s knowledge economy by supporting legal professionals with access to the information they need to build a sustainable practice.
“Because of our pivotal position in the industry, we feel that we have an important role to play in ensuring the continued development of the legal sector, particularly in those communities with a shortage of attorneys” says Rosalind Hattingh, Sabinet’s Managing Director.
Sabinet sponsors three key initiatives that span the journey of the attorney from learning to practice.
Empowering attorneys via the Attorneys Development Fund.
New law firms that have successfully applied and who are beneficiaries of the Attorneys Development Fund (ADF) received relevant, accurate and up-to-date online legal resources through Sabinet’s sponsorship. These resources included Sabinet National Legislation, Sabinet South African Gazettes and Sabinet Labour. Sabinet’s National Legislation Mobile App was also made available to these beneficiaries – allowing them access to legislation on the move, offline and outside the office.
By providing product support, Sabinet assisted these attorneys in growing their firms. The training programmes offered, helped them understand Sabinet’s products and offerings, as well as the key fundamentals of legislative research for the purposes of their law practices.
Extending an indispensable commitment to tertiary institutions
South Africa’s univerisities have the mammoth task of readying our country’s students for the roles they will fulfil as professionals. As a result, it is important for Sabinet to provide these institutions with the very best, accurate and reliable resources possible.
Sabinet has focused on enabling universities, with law faculties, to access the resources necessary to train students in various industries and professions via its sponsorship.
“We assist these institutions to expose their students to skills and tools that will be essential in their future work environments, ,” explains Hattingh. “In fact, since 2005 we have sponsored 21 tertiary institutions with law faculties with free access to our South African Legislation product – NetLaw.”
Impacting small law firms and the communities they practise in
While we may have more than 25 000 attorneys in the country, most of them are self-employed or working in small law firms. And as the cost of doing business is growing more quickly all the time, the support needed to run a small practice shouldn’t be underestimated. Supporting attorneys in their efforts to run small businesses has a positive effect in more ways than one.
“We are very aware that the impact of the support we’re able to provide to small law firms runs deeper than to just being able to help a business remain sustainable,” says Hattingh.
The community served by the attorney forms another critical element to consider in this ecosystem. This is important, because it is the small firms around the country who serve the many local communities requiring legal assistance.
“This is why Sabinet’s sponsorship to small law firms (3 or less practicing attorneys) is so valuable,” concludes Hattingh. “We not only assist small law firms with access to up-to-date legislation but through this sponsorship we also assist to uplift and support the communities that they serve.”
There’s no better time of year to appreciate the difference these sponsorships have made than the festive season.