Assessment revolutionised at the School for Legal Practice

September 30th, 2015

Compiled by Barbara Whittle

All students who attend the ten centres of the School for Legal Practice are subjected to the same, national assessment.

The School for Legal Practice has moved away from the examination method as the only way to test students in a practical legal training environment. The purpose is to use relevant methods that comply with the principles of fairness and authenticity as far as possible and that provide reliable results.

Although certain testing is still done by way of closed book testing, the ultimate test is a broad-based competency test, which the students sit for at the end of the programme. Students are given a case study in advance and are allowed to take in material. The questions are practice-based and testing competency in more than one discipline.

Further testing is done through observations during trial advocacy and casework, online testing and assignments.

On some occasions testing is done in groups, especially when ‘firm’ work is done.

The school has acquired valuable experience in assessment processes over the past few years, in an attempt to make a viable proposal for assessment in the new Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 dispensation.

The assessment element is steered by, Bongi Nkohla, an attorney and director of the East London school since 2005.

Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2015 (Oct) DR 25.