The Faculty of Law views community engagement as an important part of its core activities. Community service is conducted mainly through the delivery of legal services to the indigent, thereby promoting access to justice for them and fostering a commitment in the students to build a society based on democratic values, access to justice and fundamental human rights. Although the Community Law Centre at the campus in Mahikeng and the Law Clinic at the campus in Potchefstroom work almost exclusively on community service issues, many of the staff and students of the Faculty are involved with various non-formal community projects.
Final-year students participate in community service as part of the Legal Practice (IURI 414 and IURI 422) modules. These aim to introduce students to the ideals of access to justice and of realising social justice. The modules are designed to provide final-year students with a variety of practical lawyering skills which include but are not limited to consultation, interviewing, statement taking; drafting of legal documents; problem solving; legal analysis; professional conduct, ethical conduct; court advocacy and court room skills; and correspondence with other attorneys. These modules are further more designed to bridge the gap between the theory of law, which is learned in various substantive law courses, and the practice of law.
The annual reports of both the Community Law Centre and Law Clinic demonstrate the extent of services rendered to the indigent and broader communities throughout the North-West Province and Mpumalanga. Through the NWU’s awards programme, the Community Law Centre and Law Clinic have both been recognised and rewarded for their work.