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Johannesburg – It’s official: law firms that require prospective attorneys to get a driver’s license or a car are found guilty of wrongdoing.
The Legal Practice Council (LPC) changed its rules to allow law firms to state in advertisements that they were looking for law graduates with a driver’s license or their own car.
Law firms have also been banned from asking potential candidates in interviews whether they have a driver’s license or a car.
“It is a misconduct … to specify in a notification that an applicant must be obliged or to inquire with an applicant whether he is in possession of a valid driver’s license or is owner or has access to use a vehicle for use in the context of his future Employment, ”says the LPC’s announcement.
The LPC made the proposal last July. Chairwoman Kathleen MatoloDlepu said in a statement at the time that this was a counter-transformation.
“The Council believes this practice is anti-transformative and puts people from disadvantaged backgrounds at a disadvantage,” she said.
The student chapter of the Black Lawyers Association praised the LPC for speaking out against the practice.
“It benefited students who came from wealthy families,” said spokesman Mpho Moneoang yesterday.
“It meant they were the only ones eligible for certain articles. Our position was that students should be equal. How can I afford a car as a student? It makes no sense. I’ll be able to acquire these things when I get into a law firm. “
Moneoang said the legal sector has several other obstacles that the LPC needs to remove.
He said there was a practice among law firms to employ candidates from certain universities.
“That’s wrong,” he said. Afrikaans is another barrier, Moneoang said. “There are white companies that say they absolutely need someone who speaks Afrikaans and English fluently.
“Maybe it’s because of your clientele, but you can already see that this will limit those students who cannot speak or read Afrikaans.
“Imagine if my law firm only hired students who knew Sepedi or isiZulu. See what that would do? “Asked Moneoang.
“We need to remove these existing barriers. Not all are law firms, but there are some who continue to practice this tradition. “