|Attorneys and advocates in South Africa are registered with the Legal Practice Council in terms of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014. Since 1998 the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has represented the attorneys’ profession. The LSSA brings together the Black Lawyers Association, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and provincial attorneys’ associations, in representing the attorneys’ profession in South Africa.
- speaks nationally on behalf of the attorneys’ profession;
- provides leadership and support to the profession through policy development and stakeholder relations;
- publishes De Rebus, the SA attorneys journal in print and digital format, which circulates to all attorneys, and judges as well as subscribers in print and digital format, as well as an app;
- interrogates and makes input on policy and draft legislation in the public interest;
- provides vocational training to over 1 400 candidate attorneys a year;
- has 10 Centres of the School for Legal Practice: Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Potchefstroom, East London, Pretoria and Johannesburg as well as a distance training centre in cooperation with Unisa
- is accredited as the premier provider of other practical legal training courses (PLT) for candidate attorneys in terms of the Legal Practice Act;
- is accredited as the premier provider of subsidised Practice Management Training (PMT) for mandatory practice management in terms of the Judicial Matters Second Amendment Act, 2003;
- maintains standards by setting examination papers for the Attorneys Admission, Conveyancing and Notarial professional examinations for attorneys; and
- maintains a national database on statistics and trends in the attorneys’ profession.
The LSSA also
- Set up the Attorneys Development Fund together with its constituent members and the Legal Practitioners' Fidelity Fund to assist PDI practitioners;
- Undertakes advocacy initiatives and comments on legislation in the interests of the profession and the public;
- Is the premier provider of relevant and affordable continuing professional development for attorneys and candidate attorneys;
- Assists in the placement of candidate attorneys through its LEAD division and free adverts in De Rebus.
Protects and promotes democracy by
- Protecting and promoting the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession;
- Supporting the efficient admin¬istration of the justice system;
- Monitoring national and local elections in cooperation with the electoral commission (IEC) as well as regional elections through the SADC Lawyers As¬sociation;
- Cooperating with colleagues in the SADC region and inter¬nationally in democratisation initiatives
Empowers the public by
- Commenting on legislation in the public interest;
- Providing public information;
- Providing the independent Trustline facility to report perceived corruption and fraud by attorneys;
- National Wills Week when attorneys draft free wills for members of the public;
- Cooperating with local and international stakeholders
Empowers attorneys through
- E-learning and subsidised seminars and courses to more than 11 000 practitioners;
- Providing De Rebus, newsletters and guidelines free of charge to attorneys and candidate attorneys;
- The significant leadership training for women lawyers.
- Has launched a briefing pattern initiative.