Cape Bar Society of Advocates Application

A person must successfully complete the pupillage programme and pass the National Bar Examination Board exam in order to practice as a member of the Cape Bar.

Pupillage is a full-time, demanding programme which runs from January to December each year.  Pupils who meet minimum requirements of previous experience as a legal practitioner may be exempted from part of the programme.

Prospective applicants for pupillage at the Cape Bar during 2020 are informed as follows:

  1. At this stage the Cape Bar plans to offer a pupillage programme during 2020.
  2. Applications for the programme are now open.  Relevant details about the programme are set out in the application form. The declaration must be completed and submitted together with the application form.
  3. The deadline for applications for the programme is midday on Friday, 30 August 2019.
  4. The reference check documents must be submitted by no later than midday on Monday, 30 September 2019.
  5. The Legal Practice Council has not as yet approved the Cape Bar’s programme for 2020, which approval is required in order for the programme to be recognised for the purposes of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014.  Applicants for pupillage will be informed if the Legal Practice Council refuses approval or takes any other decision adverse to persons wanting to do pupillage at the Cape Bar in 2020.
  6. The Legal Practice Council may also determine that remuneration, or an allowance or stipend be paid to pupils in 2020, without itself providing the funding therefor.
  7. The Cape Bar reserves the right to cancel the pupillage programme for 2020 in any of the eventualities described in (e) and (f), even if by the time of the event in question the programme has already commenced.

Applying for pupillage:


  • Anyone who has an LLB degree from a South African university, is a ‘fit and proper’ person, and meets certain formal requirements is welcome to apply to be admitted to the pupillage programme.
  • The selection policy promotes transformation of the Cape Bar by giving preference to applicants who are black, female and/or disabled.  The Cape Bar’s criteria and process for selecting applicants are set out in its selection policy and selection manual.
  • Hard copies of the application form will be made available for collection at the Bar Secretariat once the form been published on the website.
  • There is a strict deadline for applications.  The Cape Bar will not consider any applications received at its offices after midday on the last working day of August in the year preceding the year of pupillage (i.e. Friday, 30 August 2019).
  • Space on the pupillage programme is limited.

Click here for more information about the prestigious Arthur Chaskalson Fellowship which is offered in partnership between the Cape Bar and the Legal Resources Centre.