Law society wants LLB revamp

2012-07-08 17:19

Johannesburg - The Law Society of SA wants the current four-year LLB degree redesigned as a post-graduate qualification, after complaints that some law graduates cannot read, count, or reason, the Sunday Independent reports.

The society resolved to recommend the LLB be redesigned as a five-year post graduate qualification.

"We often find the students have problems with analysis and critical thinking," Law Society director of legal education Nic Swart was reported as saying.

"In some cases they can't analyse facts and some graduates cannot research properly."

A survey by PPS found that only 31% of 500 attorneys believed the current LLB degree prepared students for the legal world, the weekly reported.

  • john.doeslough - 2012-07-08 17:25

    Instead of "dumbing down" the course, how about something is done at a high school level??? Having a matric doesn't prepare you for university, that is where the problem lies.

      spartanx93 - 2012-07-08 17:30

      with matric having a pass mark of 30%. I can see why there are complaints with students not being able to read, count or reason.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-08 19:27

      All I know for sure is that I would not want one of these retards defending me in a Court of Law.....

      claudia.meads - 2012-07-08 21:02

      scouter.., Is that not exactly what the ANC is trying to achieve..? A society so braindead it cannot defeat the ANC in court and so one stupid and primitive that it will vote for the ANC till Jesus comes... PS: "...cannot read, count, or reason..." - but does that not reflect 80% of the ANC parliament, 80% of its members and 80% of those who vote for them..?

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-08 21:45

      Yes Claudia - I think you make a good point. Just keep dumbing down society to even below the common denominator and society will be incapable of offering any kind of resistance. Scouter 41 for President!

      Amanda - 2012-07-09 05:52

      Mandela qualified as a lawyer with his Bantu education during Apartheid. Isn't it amazing that SARS is successfully run by the ANC, but every other department is a mess? It's almost as if the ANC are destroying what they don't need on, they aren't stupid. They're very little clever communists.

      Koos - 2012-07-09 08:41

      The cause is the quality of students that are allowed into Uni. That goes across the race line. Family member is a first year law lecturer at one of the Uni's. They enter Uni but can't read or write properly. It is not the job of the lecturer to teach you the correct structuring of a sentence. 13% as a test mark is not good enough, nor a 35%. Every year the dean adjust the marks because it is required that a certain number of students pass for the Uni to get the grant needed to carry on. Where have you heard that your parents go an moan and b1tch at the lecturer because you were to lazy to study.

  • seventhheavenproperties - 2012-07-08 17:28

    I am not an attorney, but dealt with them. I would not agree with the 31% of attorneys, based on my experience.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-08 20:17

      They do tend to 'go in and bayonet the wounded', based on my experience.

  • gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-08 17:29

    We can all see where this is going! As an ex-University lecturer I have seen this all before ... lower standard of incomming students through a combination of poor education system and AA enrolment policies -> then in order to get the same throughput, the solution is to lower university standards! in fact I left the academic world because I refused to compromise on academic standard.

      Lacrimose - 2012-07-08 18:08

      It is the govt's stated objective to reduce everything and everyone to the lowest common-denominator. This they say is the only road to fairness - and they embarked on that fair journey 18yrs ago with education. We all know the consequences of that. Curious that this mania for fairness does not extend to income which, to be fair, should be defined as a maximum, not a minimum.

      Motho - 2012-07-08 18:31

      What are you credentials Gary?

      kayley.segal - 2012-07-08 18:47

      @motho... at least he understands grammer and spelling

      lara.vanrooyen.1 - 2012-07-08 19:34

      Grammar, indeed, Kayley.

      tony.vanniekerk.35 - 2012-07-08 20:22

      The whole idea is to INCREASE the standard by making it a 5 year degree again, the way it used to be. Three year degree plus a two year post graduate degree. I did the old 5 year degree and have had employees study the 4 year syllabus. However, it will not help to just add a year. The standard should be higher and the marking should be stricter.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-08 20:24

      Lara - your comment very likely went over many heads. But I appreciated it! Wots gramma 'n spelin god t do wif tings enywey?

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-08 20:44

      @motho.. not sure what the relevance is but I have a PhD in Engineering. Spent 14 years at a University after qualifying and lectured 2nd, 3rd, 4th and MScEng students.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-08 21:52

      Gary.guy - reckon your qualification submission shot friend Motho down in flames. Bloody impressive I have to say - if only SA might realise the need for education levels such as yours instead of trashing it as some kind of elitist plot ...

      pgmdesouza - 2012-07-08 23:40

      The reason i'm commenting on this thread is because the education system in the country failed to identify a skill that would be required at this age. Their failure to do that resulted in people not being trained in that field. The unavailability of that skill made a multi-national company outsource labour. I was qualified, i landed the spot. I also happened to land in a circus devoid of logic except in quite rare and exceptional cases. My point is, education is not about studying and qualifications. It's about getting the point of education, learning how to apply what you've learned in day to day living and above all, using your head in the most efficient, productive and logical ways. Thinking begins by understanding the different ways of thinking. Think, it's good you.

      Jaun - 2012-07-09 07:26

      Tieni.mac....If you were able to understand this article, you will read that SOME law graduates cannot read, count, or reason. Yes, I would agree that the LLB course should be made 5 years because it is very complex. Sorry to hear about your problems Gary, but your story is bias. Just because some students gets 50%, doesn't mean every student gets 50%. I believe that as an Ex-lecturer you will be smart enough not to write one-sided articles.

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-09 07:42

      @Juan - let me first say that in essence I am not against a 5 year LLB degree (I don't really know much about that field) and perhaps the gist of my article was not totally relevant - I'll take that on the chin! However it was prompted by a general attitude in this country that if we can't fix the education system, then lets just make it easier and it'll look like we doing a good job. I mean, getting a mark of 30% for Maths Literacy... what a joke! But I do have to agree with you on one thing, I can't be very smart because I don't understand the relevance of your comment about not all students getting 50%.

      Jaun - 2012-07-09 08:03

      @Gary...thank you for replying. I just get so made that people read these articles on the news and think that every student at varsity gets below par education while it is not the case. Yes I would say that some standards are dropped to get students to pass, but the lectures that teach are still doing great work learning young minds that wants to learn and not just pass. Haha and well done on your reply to my 50% remark...that is a punch on my chin!

  • Michael - 2012-07-08 17:42

    "Law graduates cannot read, count, or reason" - this has to be a joke right....

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-07-08 17:48

      I didn't know degree counterfitting is so a big problem.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-08 18:04

      Thought this was a joke, double checked the date, no it's not April fool's day. So an once highly regarded profession are also going to the dogs, so that the illiterate and the braindead can also be lawyers. I don't know if it's just me, but I seriously believe the country is going down the toilet.

      Lacrimose - 2012-07-08 18:18

      It makes sense if you consider their onslaught against the judiciary. The last thing they need is a new crop of lawyers able to read, count or - especially - reason. One only has to read of the fiascos over the last few weeks that few politicians are able to read (contracts), count (how much money a supplier is due xR2mil). As for reason - well as long as you come up with A reason, rationality doesn't enter the equation. Questioning is forbidden and such unwanted tendencies will get you investigated, ostracised and eventually ousted.

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-07-08 19:39

      This is the future South Africa.Irrespective of whether they meet the criteria or not,make a lawyer a lawyer,a doctor a doctor an engineer an engineer.How does one make it to a University if you can't read or count,it's just not logical.No man,surely this cannot be true.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-08 22:41

      Judging by one or two accounts I have received from my attorneys I tend to agree about their inability to count or reason .............!

  • pgmdesouza - 2012-07-08 17:43

    This is funny to the point of incredulity. It's sad that its true.

  • jonathan.jacobs.359 - 2012-07-08 17:52

    Thats not true. It depends from which universities law faculty you are.

  • jonathan.jacobs.359 - 2012-07-08 17:52

    Thats not true. It depends from which universities law faculty you are.

  • jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-08 18:01

    The LLB, thus means "laughable lying brain"

  • Hermann - 2012-07-08 18:09

    Good someone is pointing out BEE (Black Educational Empowerment) is not working.

  • Andre - 2012-07-08 18:30

    The LLB degree always was a post-degree qualification. When the ANC took over they took Latin away and changed it like it's now. This is the result. They made it easy so that they could push hundreds of blacks through LLB. Everything they have done is an abortion!

      clive.schonken - 2012-07-08 21:32

      Why do you think they send future docters for training in CUBA ? If they do not make it, they cannot blame apartheid.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-09 00:39

      absum abesse afui - so to say

      Hugo - 2012-07-09 08:46

      I was not aware that the ANC can actually dictate what universities teach.To my knowledge the course convener and the lecturer decide what to include in the syllabus to meet specific learning outcomes. e.g in engineering ECSA(engineering council of SA)DECIDES the learning outcomes(attributes of graduate)in line with the washington accord.It is then the role of that particular dept to come up with a syllabus that will match the desired attributes.The ANC led gov(by virtue of being shareholder) may also demand additional attributes such as gradutes being fluent in an african language to enhance social cohesion and serve communities better etc but this will raise rather than lower the standard.One thing the ANC cannot do is to force universites to remove certain courses simply because the ANC does not like them.

      Bahle Mathe - 2012-07-09 08:46

      The Universoty of the Western Cape produces a Crop of Excellent Black and Coloured Lawyers, stop being so steriotyped it won't help our country in anyway. If we don't adress issues of transormation, your white children will still be subjected to Affirmative action for the next 50 years. Stop blaming ANC for everything because you only making it popullar to its voters. I'm an attorney, I'm black and I'm Brilliant. I said it.

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-07-08 18:39

    And they should be required to do a 1 year Community Service year, just like the Clinical Psychologists

  • yvette.wiid - 2012-07-08 18:40

    I can tell you right now, those graduates do NOT come from the University of the Western Cape!

      Hugo - 2012-07-09 08:47

      neither do they come fro uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuct

  • lynn.syme.1 - 2012-07-08 18:49

    Bwaaaahahahaha - what an embarrassment!

  • THABOM85 - 2012-07-08 18:50

    It's not only the LLB, i think that the practical side of every qualification is so much undermined.

  • felix.calitz - 2012-07-08 19:02

    Lowering the "BAR" (at all levels) destroys our ability to be competitive in the world. Instead, we should be stretching, as a nation, our talents, minds, resources and people to reach the true levels of our awesome potential.

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-07-08 20:09

    That's why every man and his dog becomes a lawyer....

  • muhle.masango - 2012-07-08 20:18

    Having been on the legal field for a decade and a half and being a holder of the old post degree LLB, I would not agree more. I have also observed that the junior degree LLB graduates, are not well equiped, you cannot be a well schooled jurist in four years, there is so much to learn in law.

  • mfundoj1 - 2012-07-08 20:42

    Law students who can't read, count

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 19:06

      Rather: MIScount their inflated billable hours.

  • refiloe.shikwambana - 2012-07-08 20:55

    What else is new!

  • lisa.spangehl - 2012-07-08 21:13

    Why not just make it harder to pass? Then those who cannot think critically won't make it through (or will have to repeat until they can) instead of making the capable students sit through an extra year of basic skills (the first year of the law degree is already dumbed down enoug). Where is the logic?

      stefan.vosloo.33 - 2012-07-09 06:39

      Its harder than what you think it is, it actually starts at primary school. When teachers fail a child, they must write full reports, as well as keep records and it still comes down to why the teachers did not take responsibility. Parents of these children don't care, that is mostly why, these children who go and study, can't read, write or do math

  • phillipm.seopa - 2012-07-08 22:14

    Vivid example,advocate who broke down and burst in tears recently in north Gauteng high court.

      Hugo - 2012-07-09 08:50

      he got his qualification a long time ago.Do you want a vivid example of a brainless bigot?

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 19:52

      Experience is no substitute for professionalism. (Nor for intellect.) I'd say that just as cowboys don't cry, so senior advocates don't. It don't quite look as if one is on top of things, when bursting out in tears. But perhaps I'm wrong and this crying thing is a subtle technique one learns in post-graduate courses. What do I know? There can be eminent scholastic works like: Whining 1 and 2, Advanced Sobbing. Crying In Court For Beginners, How to Cry and Win In Court. Tears For a Better Defense and: Lachrymose Lawyering, Vols. 1-3.

      thinus.oosthuizen.9 - 2012-07-14 16:28

      Phillip, I think I would also cry if I know I must act as if my peirs know what they were doing, knowing well that they don't.

  • Tommo - 2012-07-09 00:46

    There are hundreds of south African lawyers working in the UN. They have an extremely good reputation. Where did this rabel come from???

  • tshekiso.saul - 2012-07-09 05:16

    This article and LSSA would make great sense and news only if the articles were properly done not having the graduates do yes boss kiss-but work jus to get through the articles. This crap would never exist in the first place as it would be picked up early on.

  • HakeemLibala - 2012-07-09 06:35

    Could the problem be da language? well cause if U have people studying da degree in their mother lingos and U have people studying it in their 5th o eleventh languagewhat do U expect, have Zulu,Venda,Xhosa run courts I swear U wil c a dif, Its really stupid and awkward seeing a court sittin black Magistrate,Black attorney,Black Prosecutor,Black accused and U cal in an interpretor wat for?

  • tamarin.nelvanzyl - 2012-07-09 08:10

    I am an attorney with an LLB-degree. I CAN read, count and reason. I don't believe that the degree should be changed at all, only the selection process. If you can't read, count or reason before you start studying a degree then odds are that you won't be able to do it after. The problem isn't the degree, its the people.

  • Bahle Mathe - 2012-07-09 09:06

    Its so Nonsensical that ANC is to blame for everything that is considered to have gone wrong in this country. If the institutions have academic intellectuals why didn't they oppose the 4 year LLB. They are excpects for crying out loud. Its Ludicrous to allege that ANC lowered the standard of the Degree so that a bunch of Dump Black Lawyers would enter the proffesion.Most White People commenting on this site are so stupid to the extent that they don't see that everytime they make noise about ANC they actualy make it popullar to its people. When a white person complains,to a black voter it means ANC is doing something right. Wake up now you've complained, mocked the ANC, drew cartoons nothing has helped. If you want a change be the change

      thinus.oosthuizen.9 - 2012-07-14 16:39

      Bahle, You are correct if you are newly appointed lawyer. Otherwise you would know that Regulating Authorities are regulated bu Administrative Law. The Administrator are all ANC Ministers. ANC Ministers are and even the Presidency are subject to the ANC NEC. Now let us leve it to the reasoning to somebody with a proper LLB Post graduate degree to determine the legal accountability between the ANC and the degree. On your last remark - I would love you to join me in my effort in a Judicial Review process against the Presidency and 8 others to admit their incompetence.

  • Bahle Mathe - 2012-07-09 09:09

    Its so Nonsensical that ANC is to blame for everything that is considered to have gone wrong in this country. If the institutions have academic intellectuals why didn't they oppose the 4 year LLB. They are excpects for crying out loud. Its Ludicrous to allege that ANC lowered the standard of the Degree so that a bunch of Dump Black Lawyers would enter the proffesion.Most White People commenting on this site are so stupid to the extent that they don't see that everytime they make noise about ANC they actualy make it popullar to its people. When a white person complains,to a black voter it means ANC is doing something right. Wake up now you've complained, mocked the ANC, drew cartoons nothing has helped. If you want a change be the change

  • richard.zanner - 2012-07-09 09:20

    Great idea guys. I am an LLB graduate from class 1987. We had to have a degree before being able to do the LLB and still had to do subjects like Latin. Now we face people in the profession that do the LLB degree the fast way and they come to me at court and actually believe that we are equals. This was nothing but an attempt to get more law students into the profession the fast way (pretty much like the BEE system). Some time ago the Law Society asked us in the profession to take up the responsibility to train these graduates as they are under trained at varsity. I admire their bold step forward now as it is time that professional people be professional and they can only be professional if trained properly. Unless you were there nobody will ever understand the hours and hours and hours it took to master Latin. I am not really suggesting that Latin must come back into play but it is an example of the standard of dedication it required to reach the status of an attorney or advocate. This applies to all professions. Please start educating our kids and not just window dress them with a certificate in the hand.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 09:36

    "that some law graduates cannot read, count, or reason" Note: GRADUATES! So they got through four years of study, GRADUATED but they are innumerate, illiterate morons? And Law Soc. reckon an additional year will fix this? It may be that we don't read the full story here, but methinks the Law Soc. itself are deficient in the reasoning department. Such gross lacking cannot possibly be addressed at tertiary level. Too little, too late, for one. The "majority" of our people are already born with mental disadvantages. That + a fracked up Departments of Education has a very predictable outcome as this. J Phillipe Rushton was spot on, Herrnstein and Murray did not go far enough. I always thought that coding and arithmetic would be among their weakest points, but instead he shows that it's in particular vocabulary and processing of info where they lack, comparatively. And those attributes are so essential when having to research and argue a case before a Court. And imagine having to pay fees of 2K an hour for that! We should rather get our Lawyers from Cuba.

  • nkulujohn - 2012-07-09 11:01

    Dear law soc. nd sunday indep. How dare u insult us like tht? Maybe u shudnt blame th system. Put th blame on th individuals who cnt read, count and reason! If say it thn it means u knw thm. Why nt deal with m as u c fit? And th fact tht u say we cnt read, etc. shows tht u r exaggerating, thus lying! Go do ur homework, read it, count it, reason on it and, using ur critical thinking, analyse it properly!

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 12:49

      nkulujohn, by your writing here, you are either a sublime satirist, or a prime example of those semi/illiterates. Your reasoning skills leave also much to be desired, as does your ability to comprehend a simple piece of text. But then, perhaps you can successfully add series of three figures -not all needs to be lost. Good one! (I still don't quite know if I should laugh or cry though.)

  • anthony.denozo.336 - 2012-07-09 11:52

    Make it a post Graduate Degree to include some higher level course material that will benefit a Post Grad Law Student, fine, but not because they can't read, count or reason. Is this the kind of lawyer that we want to produce. Surely to read, count and reason is one of the prerequisites to enter a College of Law. You should be capable of that at at least Grade 10 if not earlier, University is not the time to learn those skills.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-09 18:54

      And I note with dismay that some of these post graduates are not very adept at tying their shoelaces either. Put that one in the first year-course as well. I also propose that one of the minimum entrance requirements is that they can wipe and blow their noses properly. Some varsities may still release grossly incompetents on society, but at least these won't be falling over with snot all over their face.

  • EmperorNemisis - 2012-07-10 09:01

    Well look at that, afte years of conspiracy theory, I'm finally proven right! This is what you get when you graduate people on basis of attendance and not merrit. For years this has been the practise in South Africa under pressure from the ANC, that black students in particular should be given their degree fro just attending university. Now this is what happens when you give someone a degree based on their attendance and not on the marks they receive during examination. ANC LISTEN UP, YOU ARE TRAINING IDIOTS (LIKE YOURSELF) AND YOU CANT SEE PAST OYUR OWN MISTAKES! Grow up, abandon your childish policies of BEE and AA but keep EE and then this country will start moving forward as these "attandance" based degrees will quickly die out as students realise that they need to pull their own weight, and not political wieght to get somewhere!

      Bheki Zungu - 2013-05-31 08:16

      The issue, as I understand, is not the standard of the carricullum or content of the LLB but rather the duration thereof. That the degree should take at least five years or alternatively be a postgraduate degree. My take hereof is affirmative. In view of your reductionist narrative above I also am inclined to concede that shortage of analytical skills transcend the racial devide. We therefore enlist the least assistance in pointing fingers. Rather we should use this opportunity to engage important questions such as a mutually inclusive way forward.

  • thinus.oosthuizen.9 - 2012-07-14 16:21

    What makes it even worse is when Judges "adopt" their role as adjudicator to the role of defence attorney and prosecutor to obtain some sort of result - to such an extent that it constitutes committing a fraudulent action as contemplated to Sec 8 of Act 12 of 2004, Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act. The Public Protector and everybody even the Presidency knows about it - then they will pull a "Spear of the Nation" trick on you and the "supporters" intimidate you. The bad news is that this type of action can't be kept from the International arena - they use our law as reference to case law.(To whom some off these international legal quibblings refer to as the LOL cases) (Laugh Out Loud Cases). Even worse is when a Judge continues with these actions. It is quit something - just think: Application for appeal reading: "I want to apply to appeal against the verdict by Judge X the matter between Judge X vs Judge X for Judge X was bias. did not put his mind to the case, could not read, could not write, cannot comprehend - because he didn't know what he was doing and he even dare to put it in writing" LOL

  • Jacques Botha - 2013-06-28 09:01

    It's about time the Law society wakes up.I know someone who used to be an aspirant prosecutor in Durban and he had to be given a book t o improve his english by his tutor

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