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Law Clinic: Practical Law 410

By Carika Keulder

Posted on 03 August 2011

The Law Clinic Students, enrolled for the elective subjects Practical Law 410 and 420, are required to consult with clients, draft letters and pleadings, conduct research and negotiate with opposing parties during their year in the Clinic. In order to prepare the students for the task at hand an intensive two day residential workshop was held on the 4th and 5th of March 2011at Nevenbergh Conference Centre, Krugersdorp.

The workshop was attended by twenty two personnel members, one lecturer of the Faculty of Law and 99 students.  During the workshop telephone etiquette, consultation skills, issues of diversity and negotiations were dealt with. 

The law clinic personnel presented a role play demonstrating to the students how a consultation with a client should not be conducted.  One member of personnel would act as the attorney and the other as the client.  The “attorney” would make mistakes which commonly occur in practice and the students had to identify these mistakes.  Thereafter the student firms consulted by means of a simulated consultation where personnel members acted as clients. 

Another important aspect dealt with during the workshop was negotiations.  The students, after a lecture on negotiations, were divided into opposing groups and briefed on their client’s case.  Thereafter they fiercely negotiated with the opposing party to protect their client’s interest. 

It was, however, not just work and no play.  Each student firm presented  a concert item. One of the highlight of the concert was when the Law Clinic staff proved that the “Law Clinic’s got talent”.  Amongst our star performers were Frikkie performed “All the single ladies” and Christo with “You think your’s cooler than I are”.

The students came back to the University tired but enthusiastic for the year’s work at the clinic.  The enthusiasm coupled with hard work resulted in a 100% pass rate at the end of the first semester.

Photo by/foto deur Lourens Grové

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