University of Pretoria Logo
English |  Afrikaans |    
UP Law Clinic Home Page

Academic Programme - Practical Law (PRR 410 and PRR 420)


Practical Law 410 and Practical Law 420 are elective modules available to final year LLB students. It runs over both the first and second semester and is credited as two elective modules.  Prior to the students enrolling for Practical Law they are required to submit a personal profile setting out any previous working experience (e.g. vacation work), particular skills (e.g. proficiency in languages), interests and career intentions.

The first meeting with students is used to involve them in a discussion of the learning outcomes that the students and clinicians would like to achieve. This in itself is a learning experience for most students involving negotiations and goal setting. The concept of small group work is introduced and the students are requested to form groups reflecting gender and cultural diversity. The rationale behind this requirement is explained to the students and time slots for working at the clinic is then agreed upon.

Students working on their case files in the Law Clinic LAB

The course consists of:


  • An intensive two-day residential workshop held off-campus during which the students are sensitised to client centred consultations and counselling, issues of equality and diversity and negotiation skills;
  • A classroom component of one hour per week during which time the lecturer or clinician meets with the entire group of clinic students and offers instruction through various media and methodologies, covering aspects of substantive and procedural law, skills and values;
  • A practical component which involves students (initially in groups, later in pairs and eventually as individuals towards the end of the course) consulting and advising clients, engaging in collaborative research of facts and law aimed at problem solving, drafting of letters, notices and pleadings, negotiating with other parties and legal representatives and learning skills at both theoretical and practical level - ranging from the opening and closing of a file to managing a case. All of this is done under the supervision of clinic attorneys who provide constant feedback.



Student consulting with a client


Innovative assessment practices are followed, assessing the full range of competencies. For purposes of assessment of students in a clinical setting five basic modes are used: self-assessment, staff-assessment, external assessment, peer assessment and assessment by clients of the clinic. Assessment is done in written and oral form as well as through observation by the supervising attorneys.  In using all these role-players to assess we strive to get a 360-degree evaluation. We strive to constantly enhance the module.


The clinical legal education house currently consists of three consultation rooms; a board room; a well-equipped computer lab and an observation room with a one way mirror to enable us to assess the students' development in consultation skills.


Students wishing to apply for admission to the modules PRR 410 and 420 can find application forms on the link "PRR 410 application forms".

Reference letter from a student