Career Opportunities Explored at Law Professions Day
Students at the 8th Law Professions Day hosted by the School of Law in Pietermaritzburg and Durban were told by prospective employers how the skills they acquired in achieving their qualification would play a major role in their development into sought-after graduates.
The annual event involved South Africa’s top legal firms advising students on a variety of career avenues available to them within the legal profession and also provided a platform for firms to recruit the University’s top Law students.
More than 20 firms attended both events, including representatives from Adams&Adams, Norton Rose, Werkmans, Bowman Gilfillan as well as from other organisations such as Legal Aid and the National Prosecuting Authority.
The School of Law uses this event to strengthen ties with the legal fraternity. The Dean and Head of School, Professor Managay Reddi said: ‘Apart from exposing our students to the legal profession the Day also serves to forge important links between the academics and members of the profession. The most obvious benefit of this relationship is that our academics are kept abreast with the needs of the profession. As a result we are able to ensure that the training we offer to our students is always relevant and of the highest standard.’
The representatives had discussions with students about the value of early job applications and any concerns they had regarding the legal profession. UKZN Law graduate and Constitutional Court of South Africa Law Researcher, Ms Winnie Ngubane, said the event gave them an opportunity to not only inform final year students about the law clerk programme but to help ease the anxiety every graduate faced concerning finding a job.
‘It is amazing to engage with students and hear their views as well as to give them knowledge that will broaden their way of thinking and also expose them to wonderful career opportunities,’ said Ngubane.
Taking full advantage of the information-gathering opportunity, students carefully read the information pamphlets handed out by the law firms while listening to briefings as they stopped at each stand. Some even used the opportunity to apply for jobs at the legal firms by submitting their CVs to the recruiters.
Final year Law student, Ms Mandy Mthethwa, said the event was very useful as it had led to her doing her articles with Adams&Adams.
‘A representative from the company last year encouraged us to leave our CVs with them. To my surprise she later called and invited me to their bootcamp and I eventually did my articles with them. It was such a wonderful learning experience that would not have been possible if this platform did not exist,’ said Mthethwa.
For second year student, Mr Kyle Frey, the event was enlightening as he felt it was never too early to start finding out about career options.
‘Talking to representatives of law firms I would like to work at after completing my degree has given me an idea of the working world and how I should structure my studies to get into the field of my choice. Interacting with the law firms has also boosted my self-confidence as I know that I am on the right career path.’