GSA Structured Pupillage Programme

The GSA Structured Programme 2024 & beyond…

Whilst the GSA has been presenting pupillage programs since 2014, landscape for pupillage has changed significantly since the enactment of the new Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (LPA).

From humble beginnings, this programme has developed into one of the flagships of the Society. Pupils undergo the Structured Training Programme presented by senior members of the Society and expert guest speakers on a vast array of topics in South African Law. The main fields of training include criminal law, civil law, legal ethics, and legal writing – both in the High Courts and Lower Courts. Various other topics are also presented within the four main modules above. Our main focus is on practical experience and guidance of pupils.

Legislative criteria & structure:

The following criteria are now prescribed i.t.o. the Act & concurrent Regulations & Rules:

  • Pupils have to complete a Structured Programe comprising an accredited curriculum. This Program is presented to the pupils invited to the program after the selection process as mentioned below.
  • Pupils have to undergo a Practical Vocational Training Programme for pupillage under the auspices of a mentor in terms of a formal Practical Vocational Training Contract (PVTC) entered into with a mentor that is an admitted advocate that complies with the requirements as set out in the LPA.
  • This programme is completed under the auspices of a mentor in terms of a formal Practical Vocational Training Contract (PVTC) entered into with a mentor that is a member of a Bar association which has been accredited by the Legal Practice Council (LPC);
  • Important: It is the responsibility of all prospective pupils to individually secure a contract with any duly qualified advocate, and not the responsibility of the GSA to facilitate this;
  • The programme may only be attended and completed on a full-time basis. Pupils may not be employed whilst undergoing their pupillage;
  • Whilst nominal Sectoral Education and Training Authority grants are available to qualifying pupils in accordance with prescribed requirements set by the LPC – such pupils are responsible to apply for assistance of their own accord;
  • Upon completion (prior to submitting a formal application for admission as advocate) pupils have to successfully complete an admission examination which is administered by the LPC, which occurs twice per year, in March and in September.

Practical roll-out:

  • Stringent selection criteria apply and only a strictly limited number of pupils will be accommodated;
  • The selection criteria will include – but not limited to:
  • Professional submission of applications and supportive documents i.t.o. application criteria;
  • Submission of a compact self-promoting personal short-video, meeting specific criteria;
  • Only prospective pupils meeting the required criteria, will be invited for structured interviews which will be held in accordance with a specific adjudication rubric;
  • Only pupils achieving 75% or above during this phase, may be invited to participate in the GSA’s 2024 internal pupillage admission exam which will comprise:

▫      Logical reasoning;

▫      Analytical reasoning;

▫      Reading comprehension – and –

▫      Writing skills.

  • This would be a standardised examination and will assess different skills and cognitive functions applicable to advocates and trial lawyers.
  • All pupils invited to join the admission examination will be graded according to marks achieved during the examination and only the best 10% of applicants be invited to join the GSA’s 2024 Structured Programme.

The Programme:

  • Whilst the GSA Structured Programme, will predominantly be conducted over the zoom platform, limited physical pupil-lecturer-course-leader contact sessions with pupils will be scheduled, as required;
  • The programme is presented online on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 18:00 to 20:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 13:00. Some of the Saturday classes will be in person in the discretion of the particular lecturer.
  • The program comprises 400 notional hours of active training [commencement & completion dates are scheduled annually] on the modules as prescribed and accredited by the Legal Practice Council;
  • The respective lecturers have the discretion to extend the lecture time if needed.
  • Training material for the program is made available in electronic format;
  • Written assignments will inter alia include: to prepare – comprehensive process documents for courts; heads of argument for appeals and motion court applications. etc;
  • Practical moot court exercises will be included during which pupils are guided and evaluated by experienced advocates selected by the GSA;
  • During the course pupils will participate in assessments as determined by the respective lecturers. Assessments are in the discretion of the lecturers.

The Ultimate Objective:

  • The GSA aims to empower those pupils who have successfully completed the Structured Programme to find themselves, properly qualified and confident to practice competently in the fields of expertise he/she may elect to explore as a career path.


  • Applications commence September annually.
  • Applications for the 2024 School: close- and must be hand delivered to the GSA as indicated on the application form or e-mailed to Adv Alexia Vosloo de Witt at: & cc’d to before November 30th 2023.
  • Candidates may be invited for an interview at the discretion of the GSA.
  • Successful Candidates will be invited to an introduction and Q&A session prior to the commencement of the 2024 programme.

Fees payable:

  • Administrative Deposit: R1000.00 on application *
  • Pupillage 2024 academic year: R15,000.00 payable in full prior to admission *
  • See application form for account detail.