If you have to appear in court, it is important that you get legal advice from a qualified person because court procedures can be very complicated. You can get this from a qualified paralegal, attorney or advocate.
The current legal profession is divided into two branches – advocates and attorneys.
The attorney is the person who you first contact when you are looking for legal advice or if you have a legal problem (unless you have access to an advice centre and paralegals). Attorneys should provide a broad range of services to cover a variety of legal problems.
Attorneys can refer clients to advocates who are experts in various areas of the law, especially the presentation of cases in court. Advocates also give legal opinions and help with the drafting of legal documents.
In terms of the Right of Appearance in Courts Act (No 62 of 1995), advocates can appear in any court, while attorneys can appear in all of the country’s lower courts and can also apply to appear in the superior courts.