The Nelson R Mandela School of Law is fully committed to the University of Fort Hare strategic mission which enjoins the School to provide world class legal education offerings and research outputs of high quality and excellence. Consistent with the values that Nelson Mandela represents, the Law School envisions itself as an institution in which the values of humanism, societal leadership, equality and excellence are enthusiastically embraced and celebrated by staff and students.
Because of its belief in the critical importance of ensuring a balance between the study of law and the acquisition of legal skills by law students as well as its acceptance of the fact that most professional legal education takes place after the law student has graduated, the Law School seeks to ensure that before graduating, its students acquire legal writing, numeracy and legal research skills as well as the competence to learn and discover the law. This is the driving motivation behind its periodic reviews of its undergraduate LLB curriculum, in addition to providing the rationale behind the strong research and writing focus of the School’s postgraduate programmes.
The School of Law is proud to house the Speculum Juris, an academic law journal which, until 2012, was jointly published with the Faculty of Law of the Rhodes University. Speculum Juris was originally launched as an in-house law journal in 1965. Since then, it was published frequently every year until 1986 when it went into dormancy. In 2002 the publication of the journal was resumed and in the following year, the national Department of Education accredited it for quality assurance and subsidy purposes. The new Speculum Juris continues to provide the intellectual space and stimulus for critical dialogue and the dissemination of research findings by legal scholars at large. Besides, it provides the Nelson Mandela School of Law with much visibility within the national and global community of legal education providers.
Finally, for obvious historical reasons, numerous alumni of our Law School now occupy leadership positions at the South African Bar and Bench. Other law graduates have also distinguished themselves in the public service, commerce, corporate world as well as in other civil society organisations. Since 2003, the School has been running a programme whereby former graduates are invited to the campus so as to interact with current students and staff for a day or two. This interactive programme continues to mentor, motivate and inspire our students to graduate and exit the University with a high level of self-confidence, dignity and a competitive edge to excel in any career path that they elect.
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