The University of Zululand’s (UNIZULU) Department of Law in conjunction with the Law Students Council (LSC) held the first Law Firms Visit. The event took place on 25 August 2022 at UNIZULU’s Gcabashe Chapel. It served as a career fair for LLB students as they were armed with essential tools to utilise in the industry.
Law students from the KwaDlangezwa Campus took full advantage of the opportunity to engage with potential employers at the event. Various law firms took turns to explain what their companies have to offer in terms of what their fields of practice entail. They educated the students on the opportunities that await them when they complete their LLB qualifications. Hundreds of students interacted physically with representatives of some of the five top law firms of the highest stature and caliber in Africa, such as but not limited to Bowmans Attorneys, Shepstone and Wylie, TKN Attorneys, National Prosecuting Authority & Magistracy as well as non-profit organisations such as Legal Aid South Africa. Some of the institutions that addressed the students did so virtually; these were Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Attorneys, Webber Wentzel & Poswa Attorney and Zikalala Attorneys.
Head of the Department of Law at UNIZULU Professor Desan Iyer welcomed both the guests who part of the event virtually and physically as well as students. He further thanked all the law firms for taking the time to address the students.
Mzweleni Mthethwa, UNIZULU SRC Academic Officer, was also invited to address the students on behalf of the SRC. “This part of the journey is preparing you for tomorrow. You are almost there as LLB students, therefore I would like to applaud you… use this opportunity because such opportunities come once in [a lifetime] – to find all these big Law firms in one room where you have a chance to network with your future employers.”
Dr Kanagie Naidoo, LLB Lecturer, provided an overview of the LLB offering at UNIZULU. She said: “To the law firms that are seated here and those will who present virtually and likely to offer our graduates employment in future, you can be assured that our students have a great potential, and they are going to graduate with the programme that has equipped them with an array of skills in various fields of law… Our modules have a balance of a theory and practical component to equip students to be efficient, professional as soon as they graduate.”
Fourth-year law student Vuyo Ndala, who is Chairperson of LSC, looked back on the journey they took as LSC members and the difficulties they had while preparing for the event. He further shared that while it looked impossible at first, they managed to accomplish what they had envisioned. He concluded by encouraging the upcoming LSC structure not to be afraid of initiating projects even when they look impossible to achieve.
Advocate Nokukhanya Gcwabaza, the head control prosecutor at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), was invited as a guest speaker. She encouraged students to consider working as prosecutors and join the NPA in fighting crime in South Africa. Lastly, she congratulated the students who had already received offers from firms.
LSC Secretary Qiniso Sibisi, on behalf of law students, extended words of gratitude to the law firms and appealed to them to commit to growing and strengthening the relationship with UNIZULU. He also thanked the Department of Law and LSC for making this first visit a success.
– Mbuyiselo Bonani Mlaba