Candidate Attorney Jobs: Paths To Legal Practice

Candidate Attorney Jobs: Paths to Legal Practice in South Africa


The legal profession in South Africa offers a rewarding and challenging career path for aspiring attorneys. Candidate Attorney jobs serve as the gateway to legal practice, providing aspiring attorneys with the necessary training and experience to qualify as fully-fledged attorneys. This comprehensive guide will delve into the various paths to legal practice in South Africa, with a focus on Candidate Attorney jobs, their requirements, and the career progression opportunities they offer.

Paths to Legal Practice in South Africa

There are two primary paths to becoming an attorney in South Africa:

  • LLB Degree and Candidate Attorney Training: This is the most common path. Aspiring attorneys complete an LLB degree (Bachelor of Laws) and then undergo two years of Candidate Attorney training at a law firm.
  • LLM Degree and Articles of Clerkship: Attorneys with an LLM degree (Master of Laws) or a foreign legal qualification can apply for Articles of Clerkship, which is a one-year training program similar to Candidate Attorney training.

Candidate Attorney Jobs

Candidate Attorney jobs are the foundation of legal practice in South Africa. They provide aspiring attorneys with the opportunity to gain practical experience under the supervision of experienced attorneys. Candidate Attorneys typically perform a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Legal research and drafting
  • Client interviewing and counseling
  • Court appearances
  • Trial preparation
  • Case management

Requirements for Candidate Attorney Jobs

To qualify for a Candidate Attorney job, aspiring attorneys must meet the following requirements:

  • LLB degree from an accredited university
  • Admission as a Candidate Attorney by the Legal Practice Council (LPC)
  • Completion of the Practical Legal Training (PLT) course offered by the LPC
  • Securement of a training contract with a law firm
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Career Progression for Candidate Attorneys

Candidate Attorneys typically progress through the following career stages:

  • Junior Candidate Attorney: This is the entry-level position, where Candidate Attorneys gain foundational experience in various areas of law.
  • Senior Candidate Attorney: As Candidate Attorneys gain experience, they take on more responsibilities and may specialize in a particular area of law.
  • Associate Attorney: Upon completion of their training, Candidate Attorneys become Associate Attorneys, who are fully qualified attorneys and can practice independently.
  • Partner: With further experience and seniority, Associate Attorneys may become Partners in a law firm, sharing in the firm’s profits and management responsibilities.

Benefits of Candidate Attorney Jobs

Candidate Attorney jobs offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Practical experience: Candidate Attorneys gain invaluable hands-on experience in the legal profession.
  • Mentorship: Candidate Attorneys are supervised by experienced attorneys who provide guidance and support.
  • Networking: Candidate Attorneys build relationships with other attorneys, judges, and clients.
  • Career advancement: Candidate Attorney jobs are the stepping stone to a successful legal career.

Challenges of Candidate Attorney Jobs

Candidate Attorney jobs also come with some challenges, such as:

  • Long hours: Candidate Attorneys often work long hours to meet deadlines and client demands.
  • Stress: The legal profession can be stressful, and Candidate Attorneys may face pressure to perform.
  • Competition: There is competition for Candidate Attorney jobs and advancement opportunities.


Candidate Attorney jobs are an essential part of the legal practice in South Africa. They provide aspiring attorneys with the training and experience necessary to qualify as fully-fledged attorneys. While Candidate Attorney jobs can be challenging, they also offer numerous benefits and career advancement opportunities. By understanding the requirements, career progression, and challenges associated with Candidate Attorney jobs, aspiring attorneys can make informed decisions about their legal careers.