How to become an Admitted Legal Practitioner
In order to qualify and be admitted as a legal practitioner one must first obtain either a law degree at a University, which is approved and published in terms of section 5 of the Legal Practitioners Act, Act 15 of 1995 (LPA). Upon successful completion of the law degree, you have the choice to apply for your admission as a legal practitioner, or to seek employment where admission as a legal practitioner is not required.
Should you desire to apply for your admission as a legal practitioner, you are required to complete a year of practical legal training with an established law firm (or an institution approved by the Board for Legal Education), and to complete a course at the Justice Training Centre whereafter you will be required to pass further examinations.
A candidate is regarded as being duly qualified if he/she was conferred a degree in law from the University of Namibia or an equivalent qualification in law from another recognized university;
and has been issued with certificates from the Board for Legal Education confirming that he/she has satisfactorily undergone practical training; and passed the Legal Practitioners’ Qualifying Examination.
Once you have been issued with the necessary certificates by the Board for Legal Education you may thereafter apply to the High Court of Namibia to be admitted as a legal practitioner in terms of sections 4 and 5 of the LPA. Upon admission, you will automatically become a member of the Law Society of Namibia.
Therefore, the fact that a person has a law degree does not automatically entitle such a person to call him/herself a legal practitioner. In terms of the LPA, it is a criminal offence for any person other than an admitted legal practitioner to practice or in any manner hold him /her out as or pretend to be a legal practitioner.
Candidate legal practioners
The admission and qualification of a person as a legal practitioner is governed by sections 3 to 5 of the LPA. All queries in respect of the registration of candidate legal practitioners should be addressed to:
The legal profession covers a wide range of career opportunities, and as a result thereof, there are different employment prospects for all interests and personality types. Below are a few employment opportunities in the legal profession:
- Practising as an attorney (sole proprietor, partner, director or professional assistant/associate),
- Practising as an advocate,
- Employment at the Office of the Prosecutor General, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Government Attorneys, Legal Aid and many other ministerial/governmental organs,
- Employment at Banks, Insurance Companies, Justice Training Centre, UNAM Law Faculty or Polytechnic, and many other NGO’s,
- Employment at the Legal Assistance Centre,
- Employment at the Office of the Ombudsman, or
- Employment as a Researcher, Labour Consultant, Notary Public or Conveyancer.
The work of a practising legal practitioner may entail some of the below, but it not limited thereto:
- Appearance in the Supreme, High and Lower Courts and Tribunals,
- Advisory work,
- Property transactions,
- Commercial work,
- Drafting of wills and administering estates,
- Provisions of legal opinions, and/or
- Drafting contracts.
Legal practitioners use titles such as attorney, advocate, lawyer, legal advisor and similar titles, to identify themselves according their employment choice. They are trained specialist who give advice, perform services, and take the best course of action for their clients/employer, by working professionally and independently.
Legal practitioners are officers of the Court and take an oath to uphold the law. It may be said that the dominant duty of a legal practitioner is not to his/her client, but to the truth and the law. Legal practitioners should at all times act with the highest integrity and decorum.
Are you Suited for the Legal Profession?
The law is dynamic and changes all the time, and as a result thereof the study of law involves a bit more than logic. It involves the studying of Acts, Regulations, textbooks and cases decided in the past to see how the law has been interpreted and applied to specific situations.
You do not only need a high academic standard but you should also have the following skills: