LWS is the leading website platform to connect lawyers and new clients with the view to make legal services more accessible to all in South Africa.

To be approved as LWS lawyer, a lawyer must meet the following minimum requirements:

1.Minimum LLB degree (or equivalent 4 year university law degree, ie B.Iuris or B.Proc)

2.Competent to provide legal services in practice areas in terms of South African laws to South Africans.

3.Able to serve clients directly and remotely via email, phone calls, cell phone text, video conferencing or voice notes.

4. Fall into a category of Practising Attorney, Practising Trust Account Advocate, Practising Referral Advocate, Legal Consultant, Pro Bono Lawyer or Law Academic (includes candidate legal practitioner with LLB degree).

5. Operate for own account or be part of a legal practice with other lawyers who qualify.

Before hiring a lawyer in South Africa, it is very important to be aware that there are different professional types and levels of lawyers, depending on professional qualifications, work experiences, practice areas and liabilities to the public. Also, some types of legal instructions, in particular relating to litigation (court matters), are reserved for attorneys and advocates respectively. You should always be aware of the professional capacity in which a lawyer takes instructions and represent you. If you are not sure what the professional category is of your lawyer, do not hesitate to ask to obtain clarity.

How will you know your lawyer’s professional type?

To help distinguish between the different types of lawyers on LWFH, see the table below.

Lawyer TypeLegal practitioner in terms of Legal Practitioner ActCan take instructions directly from the public?Operate a Trust Account?Must have a Fidelity Fund Certificate?Will require FICA client?Can ask deposit?
Practising AttorneyYesYesYesYesYesYes
Practising Trust Acount AdvocateYesYesYesYesYesYes
Practising Referral AdvocatesYesNo. Only from practising attorneys.NoNoNoYes
Legal ConsultantNoYesNoNoNoYes
Pro Bono LawyerYesYesNoNoNoNo
Law AcademicNoYesNoNoNoYes

We hope this information is helpful for lawyers and clients. If you have a question or suggestion, please do not hesitate to contact us at manager@lawyersworkingsmart.co.za.