What is a paralegal?
The National Paralegal Institute identifies a Paralegal as a person who is qualified by education, training or work experience to perform legal, social welfare or related work, which requires a basic knowledge of the law.
THE PARALEGAL MAY BE FOUND:
- In community based advice offices run by community organisations or NGO’s
- Employed by a government department or a non-government organisation
- Working in Labour Law consultancies or for trade unions
- Employed by a Legal Practitioner or Legal Firm
- Self-employed as a Paralegal Practitioner or Legal consultant
- Employed in a banking, insurance or other corporate environment
- The Minister of Police has recently indicated the South African Police Services will be looking to employ Paralegals to assist in police stations throughout the country.
Core Competencies of a Paralegal include:
- Helping people comply with administrative functions such as the completion of official documentation.
- Understanding fundamental legal concepts.
- Providing basic legal advice.
- Understanding when to refer matters to a Legal Practitioner.
- Advising and educating communities of their Human Rights.
The course is registered on the National Qualification’s Framework at Level 5 (NQF5). The School is FULLY accredited by SASSETA to provide training and learner assessment. The School offers a unique programme which includes additional legal content modules in order to ensure that our graduates receive a fully integrated qualification. As far as we are aware we are the only Training Provider which has carefully formulated a comprehensive training programme that combines the qualification’s unit standards with our own additional modules. And all of our lecturers are experienced and qualified legal practitioners.
- Debt Collecting & Civil Litigation
- Legal Writing
- Family Law & Divorce
- Family Court Practice
- Labour Law
- Property Law
- Wills & Estates
- Visits to Civil & Criminal Magistrates’ Courts
- Visits to Divorce Courts
- Job Shadowing/Advice Office
- Moot Court Preparations
- Drafting of Legal Documents
- Workplace Exposure
Course overview – NQF LEVEL 5 (SAQA: 49597)
|Module||SAQA ID||UNIT STANDARD TITLE||NQF LEVEL||CREDITS|
|Core||119508||Demonstrate an understanding of SA Law and the legal system with specific emphasis on Paralegalism||Level 5||15|
|Elective||15093||Demonstrate Democracy as a form of Governance in a diverse Society||Level 5||5|
|Core||119503||Demonstrate an understanding of procedure in courts and other fora||Level 5||20|
|Fundamental||119505||Apply fundamental legal concepts, principles, theories and values within a paralegal sector||Level 5||20|
|Core||119509||Guide and refer clients in terms of legal enquiries||Level 5||10|
|Core||14505||Apply the principles of ethics and Professionalism to a business environment||Level 6||6|
|Elective||13948||Negotiate an agreement or deal in an authentic work situation||Level 4||5|
|Fundamental||8647||Apply workplace communication skills||Level 5||10|
|Core||7865||Improve service to customers||Level 5||6|
|Fundamental||11994||Monitor, reflect and improve on your own performance||Level 5||3|
|Core||110531||Plan, organise and control day-to-day administration of an office support function||Level 5||4|
|Core||115855||Create, maintain and update record keeping systems||Level 5||5|
|Core||115823||Gather and Manage information for decision making||Level 5||5|
|Core||8663||Plan and conduct a research project||Level 5||6|
|Elective||114738||Perform financial planning and control functions for a small business||Level 4||6|
|Core||116104||Use technology effectively in the practice of Law||Level 6||6|
AN OVERVIEW OF THE ADDITIONAL MODULES
Debt Collecting and Civil Litigation
The course focuses on legal procedures for the recovery of debts, including the drafting of summonses, letters of demand and obtaining judgment. Also looked at are warrants of execution, Garnishee orders and Emolument Attachment orders, Section 57,58,65 proceedings, prescription and forms of security as well as the basic procedures in pre-trial preparation of documents (pleadings) and use of precedents in litigation. The rules of both Magistrates’ and High Courts will be studied from the beginning of the process through to the trial and execution of judgment. The Consumer Protection Act and Debt Collectors Act are also presented.
The process of Legal Writing often involves re-thinking and re-drafting. The drafting of legal documents is a skill that requires the use of language. Everyday language is not sufficient to achieve the objects required. This demands the careful choice of words, the use of accurate and appropriate phrase and well constructed sentences and paragraphs. This is a short, intensive and comprehensive course designed to empower its students with the tools to construct suitable legal documents including letters, pleadings and debt collecting documents.
Family Law and Divorce
This course looks at the engagement, breach of promise and the conclusion of a legal marriage. It also examines the consequences of marriages in and out of community of property, the accrual system and the ante-nuptial contract. Grounds of divorce and divorce procedures are studied as are the consequences of divorce including maintenance, custody and child guardianship. The provisions of new Child Care Act are also studied, as well as recent changes to no civil marriages.
Family Court Practice
This course provides students who have completed the Family Law & Divorce Course with further and more detailed comprehension of Family Law issues including a deeper understanding and grasp of the Maintenance Act, Domestic Violence, and custody and child guardianship.
This course looks at the relationship between an employer and employee. It covers the important aspects of various relevant legislations and introduces the student to the rights and obligations of both parties to an employment contract. New developments with the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and Basic Conditions of Employment Bill are analysed.
Wills & Estates
A highly valuable and comprehensive short course on the administration of deceased estates This course covers testate succession including an examination of Wills and Codicils, the drafting of Wills and Codicils, the formalities required during the execution of Wills; and revocation of Wills. Principles of Intestate Succession are taught including applicability of the Intestate Succession Act, competent heirs, and distribution per stirpes and per capita. The Master’s role and the Executor’s duties are covered and most importantly the entire administration procedure is taught.
- Full-time (1 year): 6 months theory and 6 months practical tasks and workplace experience/revision classes. Includes ongoing assessments.
- Part-time: Every Tuesday and Thursday evening (depending on availability) OR every Saturday morning.
Includes ongoing assessments and practical tasks & workplace experience.
Procedure towards competency
- Classes are lecture based with a certain amount of practical sessions and work place training.
- Students are to compile a portfolio of evidence containing all of their assessments, practical tasks, workplace experience and student feedback for the duration of the course. Students will only be found competent upon successfully completion of the course and will receive their National Certificate once portfolios are inspected and endorsed by SASSETA.
Graduation is an important and exciting affair. These are the requirements for successful completion of the course:
- Assessment as “Competent” in each of the Qualification’s Unit Standards.
- At least 50% total result for each of the additional modules.
- 75% attendance record.
- Completion of 21 Assignments and workplace experience.
- Upon endorsement by SASSETA through the verification process.
- Provided all fees are paid up.
Since a certain amount of mature language comprehension is required it is recommended that prospective students have completed grade 12 schooling (matric) OR be at least 23 years of age with at least 3 years working experience (without a grade 12/matric qualification). Please feel free to discuss any concerns you may have in this regard.
Learners are not required to purchase any textbooks in order to complete the course. However the School does recommend, after completion of the course, the purchase of the Black Sash Paralegal Manual as a valuable tool. Course material is provided in electronic format on an Android tablet inclusive in tuition fees.
Registration closing dates
We operate on a rolling admissions system; this means you may enter the training at any point during the year when a new module commences.
For more information and assistance with fees & application forms please contact the Student Enrolment Officer at the campus you wish to study at. The course is offered at the following campuses: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria. Click here for contact details.