Partnership with the Community and Law Students at Heart

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UKZN recently signed an agreement with Illovo Sugar Africa (Pty)Ltd’s Legal Department which will enable various initiatives that will not only empower Law students but communities surrounding Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

The main objective of this partnership is to financially and professionally support Law students while simultaneously providing underprivileged communities with access to legal services through the UKZN Law Clinic.

This will be carried out by actively co-operating on various initiatives including, but not limited to ad-hoc guest lecturers, vacation programmes, career days, scholarships/bursaries, research, and community support through the UKZN Law Clinic in so far as it falls within the expertise of Illovo Sugar Africa’s team of legal practitioners.

Both parties met to explore possible ways to implement and carry out these initiatives. Mr Emmanuel Hinson, General Counsel and Illovo Company Secretary who will be steering this ship said that their organisation is looking to making a meaningful contribution towards the development of law students into well-rounded legal practitioners.

‘We want to make sure this engagement is felt by students; hence we have introduced programmes that are directly aimed at students. We will also have ad-hoc guest lectures and career days to ensure that students are supported in all academic aspects,’ explained Hinson.

Serving and reaching out to communities the parties’ main objectives and strategic plans were compiled to ensure that the Law Clinic is adequately equipped and that there is enough staff working to deliver legal services to communities.

Collaborating with the company’s legal team, which comprises attorneys and paralegals from South Africa and other southern African countries, the agreement will be beneficial to students by providing them with industry experience.

‘We need such support to make sure our legal services are accessible to our communities. Getting sites that are near these communities will have a huge impact in terms of community members knowing the availability of our services and us being able to deliver them. We can recruit more students who can take turns working there,’ said Mr Adrian Bellengere, School of Law Acting Dean.

The UKZN Law Clinic is amongst the thriving Law clinics in South Africa where students under professional supervision are involved in solving real-life cases.

Words: Samukelisiwe Nomusa Fezile Cele

Photograph: Supplied

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