Vanessa Boesak is a senior associate in the litigation department and what she does is, advise people to assert and defend their rights. Sometimes this means resolving disputes between parties through negotiations, and sometimes it means going to court and arguing your client’s case. Being a lawyer means to sort out disagreements between parties and figuring out who is right and who is wrong.
A typical day would start with checking your diary and seeing what was scheduled for the day. “This is important because you need to be prepared and disciplined to be effective in a strictly regulated profession,” Boesak says. The day would include meetings with clients, making telephone calls, writing emails and going to court.
Being a lawyer requires that you can work in a team to determine the real issues in dispute and find solutions to your client’s problems. At ENSafrica Boesak is lucky that she has a platform to engage with colleagues who come highly recommended, and are highly experienced, in various areas of the law.
What drives and inspires me about the profession is that you apply what you know to find the best outcome for your client. You do the best that you can for your client, but never compromise on the fundamentals of the profession. This means always operating within the confines of the law, always acting ethically and professionally and never neglecting your duty as an officer of the court. So if you want to take short cuts, be dishonest, have your selfish interests at heart, do not become a lawyer.
The road to qualification is simple. You study towards a recognised degree. Once you have your degree, you apply for a type of internship at a law firm where you work during the day, and attend practical legal training at night. Once you have completed practical legal training, you apply to court to become admitted as a legal practitioner. A student must obtain a minimum of 30 points in five subjects according to UNAM rating with at least a B symbol in English as a Second Language or higher if he/she wants to pursue this. The character traits you needs to do this job or work in the industry.
“To make it in this profession you need to be trusted, and trust is earned,” Boesak mentions. Lawyers should have integrity, they should be ethical and honest, and they should be knowledgeable. You should also have the ability to learn and continue learning to gain knowledge and experience. You seek out good mentors, people you can trust, to learn from and to rely on.