What Subjects are Needed to Become a Lawyer in Grade 12?

Choosing the right subjects in Grade 12 is a critical step for students aiming to pursue a career in law. This decision can influence their eligibility and preparedness for law studies at the tertiary level. This article provides an overview of the key subjects that are beneficial for aspiring lawyers in Grade 12, underscoring their importance in the journey to becoming a lawyer.

What Subjects are Needed to Become a Lawyer in Grade 12

In South Africa, aspiring lawyers have several undergraduate courses to choose from, each catering to different interests within the legal field. These options serve as a foundation for a career in law, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right Grade 12 subjects to meet university admission requirements. Here’s a brief overview of the main law course options:

  1. LLB (Bachelor of Laws):
    • This is a direct route into the legal profession, offering a comprehensive study of law and preparing students for legal practice. It covers various law fields such as criminal, corporate, and family law. Grade 12 subjects that strengthen analytical and critical thinking, like English and History, are crucial for success in this course.
  2. BCom Law (Bachelor of Commerce in Law):
    • Combining law with business, the BCom Law degree is ideal for those interested in the commercial aspects of law. It provides insights into business operations and commercial transactions, alongside core legal studies. Essential Grade 12 subjects include Mathematics, Business Studies, and English, supporting the analytical and communicative skills needed for this course.
  3. BA Law (Bachelor of Arts in Law):
    • Focused on the broader societal, historical, and philosophical aspects of law, the BA Law degree suits those interested in the intersection of law and humanities. It offers flexibility in career choices, including legal practice and other sectors. Recommended Grade 12 subjects for this course are History, English, and Information Technology, fostering a well-rounded understanding of legal principles and societal contexts.

Each of these courses has specific entry requirements, underlining the significance of the question, “what subjects are needed to become a lawyer in Grade 12?” Aspiring law students should carefully consider their subject choices in Grade 12, ensuring they align with the prerequisites of their chosen law course in South Africa. This strategic selection is pivotal in smoothing the transition to tertiary education and a successful career in law.

Core High School Subjects for Law Studies:

  1. English:
    • Significance: Mastery in English is crucial for aspiring lawyers, as law studies and the profession demand excellent communication, comprehension, and analytical skills.
    • Example: Engaging in advanced English classes will enhance abilities in argument construction, critical thinking, and articulate expression, all of which are indispensable in the legal field.
  2. Mathematics:
    • Significance: While not directly related to law, Mathematics fosters logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
    • Example: Tackling complex mathematical problems can sharpen analytical skills, useful in legal reasoning and case analysis.

Recommended Subjects:

  1. History:
    • Significance: Understanding historical events, governance, and societal changes is beneficial for grasping the evolution of laws and legal systems.
    • Example: Studying History aids in developing a broad perspective, crucial for analyzing legal precedents and understanding their impacts on contemporary legal issues.
  2. Business Studies:
    • Significance: Offers insights into the business environment, corporate law, and the economic considerations influencing legal practices.
    • Example: Acquiring knowledge in Business Studies prepares students for areas of law that intersect with commerce, finance, and industry regulations.
  3. Information Technology:
    • Significance: In the digital age, understanding technological applications in the legal domain is increasingly important.
    • Example: Familiarity with Information Technology equips future lawyers with the skills to manage electronic legal resources, digital evidence, and online research tools.


  • Flexibility: Students should choose subjects that not only meet the admission requirements of law faculties but also align with their interests and strengths.
  • Research: It is advisable to consult with tertiary institutions to confirm specific subject requirements, as these can vary.


Selecting the right subjects in Grade 12 is a pivotal step for students aspiring to enter the legal profession. English and Mathematics form the foundation, while History, Business Studies, and Information Technology are highly recommended for their relevance to legal studies and practice. By carefully choosing their Grade 12 subjects, students can ensure they are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities in the field of law.

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