The Law Society of South Africa’s (LSSA) House of Constituents (HoC) established a Conveyancing Task Team to review the concerns on the poor pass rate of the conveyancing admission examinations. The HoC accepted the Task Team’s report, which included recommendations for various interventions. The HoC agreed that solutions should be practical and measurable.
The LSSA approved the following recommendations to the Legal Practice Council (LPC), who are responsible for the examinations:
- The format of the examination needs to change, so that it is written on two separate days (with at least a few days between the papers), in contrast to the current format where both papers are written on one day.
- The order of the two papers needs to change, so that the theory paper is written first, followed by the practical paper.
- Candidates should retain credit for a period of a few years (to be determined) for the paper that they have passed, so that they will not have to re-write that paper.
- Past examination papers and model answers must be made freely available to candidates by placing them on the LSSA website.
- The pool of examiners must be increased and the qualification requirement to conduct the assessments should be reduced from seven years’ experience.
The LSSA is working on urgently introducing a mentorship programme, which will involve local conveyancers and organisations. A pilot project will be launched, as soon as possible and the LSSA hopes to obtain the buy-in of potential mentors and mentees.
The LSSA is hopeful that these resolutions will be adopted by the LPC and that most, if not all, the interventions will be in place for the September 2019 examinations.
Nomfundo Jele, Communications Officer, Law Society of South Africa, firstname.lastname@example.org