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Applied Legal Studies (formerly known as the Unit for Applied Law)

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The under-preparedness of many candidates entering the LLB programme and graduates seeking entry into the legal profession reveals the need for more rounded candidates for advanced legal studies at traditional universities. Moreover, the existing South African paralegal education landscape is fragmented with most programmes falling outside the National Qualifications Framework. This leaves an insufficient number of accredited paralegal programmes to provide the requisite educational support for the professionalisation of the paralegal sector.

The challenge with legal education in the country is, in part, a reflection of the mismatch between the unmet legal needs of society and the legal services rendered. The focus still remains, mostly, on secondary legal services and criminal justice amid the growing unmet administrative and civil legal needs of society. The constitutional imperative of access to procedural justice contained in sections 28, 34 and 35 demands a legal services framework that is aligned to this imperative and an education system that yields agents who are acutely aware of the responsibility of their trusteeship of the law.

The Department for Applied Legal Studies, therefore, has responded to the disconnect between the legal profession and the paralegal ‘profession’ by curriculating the Bachelor of Paralegal Studies, the first of its kind in South Africa. This programme enables synergy between law programmes on the Post-School Education and Training continuum. It does not only create the possibility for seamless articulation between paralegal programmes and post-graduate LLB programmes at traditional universities but also post-graduate programmes in other disciplines. The Department for Applied Legal Studies thus endeavours to prepare multi-skilled graduates for paid employment as well as self-employment, allowing for greater labour mobility. In so doing, the Department for Applied Legal Studies is giving effect to its VISION, which is, to be a key role player in the transformation of legal services and contribute to the legal empowerment of individuals and communities in South Africa.

The Department for Applied Legal Studies is committed in its MISSION, to give effect to the rights and values entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, strive for excellence in legal education, contribute to a body of applied, multi-disciplinary research and to capacitate the paralegal sector through work-integrated learning and community enhancement.

Contact Information

Contact person:
Ms L Antonie (Faculty Office)
Tel: +27 21 460 3394
Email: KleinbooiL@cput.ac.za

Physical address:
Construction Mngt & Quantity Surveying Bld 2nd Flr Room 2.01
Bellville Campus

Contact person:
Mrs G Pick (Research Administrator)
Tel: +27 21 959 6417
Email: NobleG@cput.ac.za

Physical address:
BLV Construction Mngt & Quantity Surveying Bld, 2nd Flr Room 2.51
Bellville Campus

Postal Address:
PO Box 1906

Contact person:
Mrs M Thomas (Admin Assistant)
Tel: +27 21 460 3265
Email: ThomasM@cput.ac.za

Physical address:
Engineering Bld, 3rd Flr Room 3.33A
District Six Campus

Postal address:
PO Box 652
Cape Town