Lloyd Kriel

20 Nov 2023
20 Nov 2023

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Technological advancement is exciting because it allows us to engage with clients, documents and courts in more accessible and efficient ways.

What do you do?

I currently work as an attorney at the UCT Law Clinic. My job is to consult with clients and attempt to find solutions to their legal issues.

I engage with clients on an ongoing basis, draft pleadings and other documents like wills, engage in settlement negotiations with opposing parties, and appear before courts on behalf of clients where necessary.

At the UCT Law Clinic, our mission is to provide the above legal services to indigent people who would otherwise not be able to access the legal system.

What pulled you towards your field?

The law regulates the conduct of citizens of a country. I was drawn to it because it is such an integral part of our lives, yet many people do not understand it or how to access legal services.

I think that is one of the reasons that I enjoy working at the UCT Law Clinic. It ties in with why I decided to study law, in that it provides legal education to communities and allows greater access to legal services.

What advice would you give to students that want to follow in your footsteps?

Being a student is extremely challenging and we often become consumed by our studies. I believe that it is important to do and experience different things so that you can find out what fulfils you.

During my time as a law student, I worked as a content writer and call centre agent, I participated in sports and societies, job shadowed, etc. Many of these things are unrelated to law, but they were great opportunities to engage with people and learn transferable skills. I would therefore advise students to, studies permitting, look for and accept opportunities.

Another piece of advice is to always understand what it takes to get where you want to go. For example, if you want to be an attorney, research what exams you need to write, courses you need to attend and training you need to complete – and do this well in advance of needing to do them. Achieving your goals becomes more attainable when you have a clear picture of your destination.

What is the next thing you want to achieve?

I am currently reading towards my master’s degree in Criminology and hope to complete it in 2023. I also hope to continue expanding my knowledge and skills as an attorney by, for example, attending short courses.

How do you see your industry evolving in the near future?

I think that legal practitioners will have a steep learning curve as programmes that assist us with completing tasks, such as perusing and drafting documentation, will become more readily available and necessary. We will have to learn how to incorporate these technological advancements into our practice.

The pandemic has already shown us that legal practitioners have to be adaptable to change. Technological advancement is exciting because it allows us to engage with clients, documents and courts in more accessible and efficient ways.

What course would you recommend?

If you are studying towards your LLB at UCT, I would recommend Legal Practice. It is a final year elective which is administered by the UCT Law Clinic. The course is different from other LLB courses, as it is an opportunity for students to attend satellite law clinics in vulnerable areas, engage with real clients, and try to implement the theoretical knowledge they have obtained in a practical manner.