AboutThe Law Clinic has always had the reputation of being the leading clinic within the region and one of the best clinics in South Africa, due to its forward-thinking strategies within the clinical movement, offering quality legal services and its progressive faculty. The Law Clinic is a division of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape. The Clinic is an accredited Law Clinic and operates with the permission and in compliance with the rules of the Legal Practice Council.
Since its inception, the Law Clinic has operated consistently within the University’s vision and guiding principles of being of value to its students and the community it serves. The Law Clinic upholds these principles by ensuring that the need for access to justice for its indigent clientele and providing senior law students with clinical legal education and training is upheld.
The Law Clinic operates as a law practice under the supervision of a director and experienced attorneys. The Law Clinic provides free legal services to indigent and marginalized communities in the surrounding Cape Metro Region of the Western Cape. The Law Clinic through its cluster of paralegal offices, provides additional legal services and outreach programmes to the community. The clinic has increased its community outreach and is currently operating in the Fezeka and Mitchell’s Plain community criminal courts.
In respect of the educational aspect, the Legal Process course is a final year elective course and the student advisors are exposed, under close supervision by qualified attorneys, to live-client, in house clinical legal education. The “learn-by-doing” and “individual critique” method of instruction at the clinic gives students a critical frame of reference by which they can effectively evaluate their own work as well as the work of others. The Law Clinic seeks to acquaint the students with the social legal problems of our indigent clientele and to instil in them a sense of social responsibility, thus ultimately producing a better quality graduate.
The aims and objectives of the Clinic are:
- To provide legal representation and legal service to indigent people with a specific focus on gender, human rights abuses and socio-economic rights issues;
- To provide senior law students with clinical legal education;
- To provide practical vocational training for candidate attorneys at the Law Clinic;
- To provide legal support and legal services to cluster partners and advice offices.