The South African Attorneys Association welcomes the announcement by Wits University that it intends to make the LLB a post graduate degree. There is general agreement that the current four year LLB is not adequate. In addition, many universities have to devote course time to the teaching of numeracy and literacy skills to first year students.
As a result a very large number of students take five or six years to complete the four year degree. A structured five year post graduate course will prepare students better for the practice of law. It is important to ensure, in the interests of the public, that standards should not only be maintained at all times, but that there are constant efforts to improve them. For this reason, we also welcome the proposed introduction of a course in Ethics in the curriculum.
It is heartening to note that other universities are also planning to follow the Wits proposal.
Issued on behalf of the chairperson of the South African Attorneys Association, Praveen Sham