Pro Bono Work Pays Dividends for Law Student
Volunteering for ProBono.Org, an organisation that provides legal services to the poor, has been an enriching experience for Masters of Law student, Ms Abongile Swana.
Swana, who is studying towards an LLM in Business Law, volunteered her services at ProBono.Org’s Consumer Law Clinic for three months as part of the requirements for the Consumer Law module taught by Professor Tanya Woker.
During her time at ProBono.Org, Swana worked on a variety of cases that dealt with consumers rights, an experience she says has given her valuable insight into the law profession.
‘The experience I had at ProBono.org was truly amazing as I was exposed to other issues that consumers are facing that may not have been dealt with as yet. I also got to interact with knowledgeable and experienced attorneys in the field which is always a privilege. I honestly believe that this is an experience that every student should have prior to practising in the field,’ she said.
Studying Business Law has created an opportunity for her to fuse her interests in law and commerce for her research on Emoluments Attachment Orders and their abuses. She is being supervised by Mr Lee Swales and Woker.
Next year, Swana will serve her articles of clerkship at Norton Rose Fulbright who are sponsoring her undergraduate and postgraduate tuition.
‘I always knew I wanted to study towards an LLM but wasn’t sure about which area to specialise in,’ said Swana, ‘It was not until I attended a vacation programme at Norton Rose Fulbright in 2012 that one of the directors looked at my interest in commerce and suggested I pursue Corporate Law as it balances law and commerce perfectly. I am very grateful to God and to Norton Rose for this opportunity and to UKZN for grooming me into a graduate ready to venture out into the legal field.’
Woker praised Swana’s dedication and work ethic. ‘This is the second year I have encouraged my students to volunteer at ProBono and those who do find it very rewarding. It also gives them valuable practical experience.
‘Abongile was a very committed student and as it turns out she is the top Consumer Law student this year.’