Dear Future Candidate and Aspiring Attorneys!

2014-12-05 08:15

South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg

So, after successfully completing just over a year of my Articles of Clerkship and having written 2 out of my 4 Board Exams, I thought I’d share my years’ worth of experience as a Candidate Attorney (or “CA”). (And No, it’s nothing like Suits!)

Day 1 started off as bright-eyed and bushy tailed as ever! Eager to get to work, a bit nervous and afraid, I set out to leave home at the crack of dawn to avoid any traffic/accidents/obstacles that may render me late for work. The rest of the day was just a matter of familiarising myself with the new environment.

Day 2 came as a surprise. I was asked to serve papers on the Respondent’s in a matter and thereafter attend to filing the papers at the High Court. Now if you’re like me, who was wrapped up in cotton wool until your first day of work, the idea of driving through Johannesburg Town might scare you! Nevertheless, I punched in the relevant addresses into my Garmen (this got replaced by Google Maps) and hit the road! (At this stage I was a ball of nerves! A nervous wreck actually!). All the way to my destination, I processed my instructions in my head over and over again until I finally arrived at court!

Court sweet Court. The first problem encountered is where to park! After circling the court I eventually found the underground parking and managed to secure a parking which would hopefully be safe. (Never have any expectations in this regard, trust me I know!) . Looking for the filing room, standing in a long queue (this is where Candy Crush comes in handy) and getting to the front only to be told that your file is missing is the next series of problems. (This is when Lost File Affidavits becomes your new best friend). The joy when you actually do find your files is like that of a mother who has just given birth!

Nevertheless, as the days and months go by, you find yourself looking forward to attending court, you get a little wiser, and a big burst of confidence, a spring in your step, and you get a sense of pride when donning the Court Gown/Robe. (Having just come to terms with the fact that I would not be getting a letter of acceptance from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and would have to trudge through a muggle, non – magic law school, seeing all the judges, advocates and attorneys at court in these gowns made you feel like you were in the Great Hall anyway!)

My advise to you is to embrace the journey! Your 2 years as a Candidate Attorney is when you need to be like a sponge and soak up as much knowledge and experience as you can! There will be those tough days where nothing seems to go right, but there are months where even Harvey Specter won’t have anything on you!

Remember, with hard work comes success, and with power comes great responsibility.

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