The Lighthouse Law Academy is now five months into its first year. Our clients have shown so much support and enthusiasm for the project that we wanted to provide a short update on how things are going. 

The Lighthouse Law Academy is an empowerment program aimed at providing students with paid internships and an opportunity to immerse themselves in corporate contract law, contract management and the work of managed legal services. The program includes both a formal training curriculum and ongoing apprenticeship to provide the best possible opportunity to develop the skills of the students.

This year Taahira Adam, Samnkelo Balitafa and Andile Maneli joined us from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as Academy students. 

The Lighthouse lawyers have shown tremendous commitment to the project and it’s been incredible to see them take on the role of mentors, trainers and colleagues to the students. We’ve developed a core curriculum and capability matrix to set targets and track the students’ progress. This allows them to be proactively involved in the pace of their own learning as they engage in actual client work and projects, as well as practice exercises that we’ve developed for them to work on.

The students do three rotations for the year, each focussed on a different client account. In that time, they work closely with the core Lighthouse team servicing that client. Being assigned to specific accounts does not preclude them working on other client accounts – rather it allows them to gain real depth of experience and understanding of our client’s business and needs over the four months. 

We’re trying to expose the students to all aspects of our work so in addition to the contract drafting and reviews, and commercial negotiation work, they are also attending on client calls and negotiations. We are focused on enabling the students to operate as accomplished attorneys with a full set of skills across client work, practice and business development, commercial acumen and interpersonal skills. Samnkelo recently attended the Lighthouse Law client seminar in Johannesburg on the Companies Act and we will be expanding opportunities for our students to travel and engage with clients so look out for them.

Some comments from our students:

 

Taahira Adam

The experience has been amazing so far. This internship has broadened my knowledge of commercial and contract law and has provided me with invaluable hands-on experience. I’ve worked on amendments to contracts, letters and red flag reviews and am learning the various administrative aspects of managing client accounts and work. I’m gaining the skills and confidence I will need to succeed in this profession. Every day has been a new challenge and I am ever grateful to all the attorneys at Lighthouse Law for taking on the role of mentor and supporting and inspiring me. This is an experience that I will never forget.

 

Andile Maneli

I found the last four months very helpful in building my understanding of clients, the work done by the senior lawyers and what is expected of them. It has also helped in improving my self-confidence through practical exercises on agreements, red flag reviews, conformance, filing and attending calls and having to ask questions on things that weren’t clear. I can also say it is not easy, and at times has been very challenging. It has made me think a lot and be critical as well. It is very useful and beneficial for a new beginner

 

 

Samnkelo Balitafa

The experience has been amazing. I have been learning the ‘magic role’ that words play in commercial contracts and the risks they pose for clients. I have been exposed to a lot in these past few months, including traveling to Johannesburg for the first time to meet with clients at a client seminar. I have also got to learn how different clients deal with contractual terms and the standards they prefer. The current technology Lighthouse Law uses has also been very helpful in me keeping up with new ways of doing business. I am grateful for this opportunity.