Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools Day: Graduation for University of the Witwatersrand Lawyers

Today is the big day. After 4-5 years of study, and having passed our final exams last year, and having been given our transcripts and declaration of graduation, Wits law faculty LLB students are graduating... on April Fools Day...

This day, I am to be celebrated, the day fools are celebrated, the day of the trickster gods' mockery of us, of humanity, and the day too, when lawyers officially enter the world, from this top legal University. An irony not lost. For, perhaps the statistics show our profession as one of the most treacherous to succeed in. Perhaps we are all fools in love, and loss to ever have considered this prestigious, beautiful, wondrous thing: the law, to be our fickle but dynamic adorable lover.



Every year of the degree, a massive half of us dropped out, right until final year. Those of us who didn't, will be given a chance: we will graduate this 1st day of April, a symbol of the joke played on us as mankind, by some or other Greek or Nordic deity. And yet of those who today graduate, most will not remain. It speaks volumes for our profession where half of us will be disbarred, and yet more will leave their jobs realising they never did like law. Yet more, might become ambulance chasers (but quietly because touting is banned). April Fools Day, the day the University of Witwatersrand has chosen to give over the certificate law students have fought for: LLB: Legum Baccalaureus.

I, along with people I spent years with studying hard, fighting inch by inch with, are on this list:



http://www.wits.ac.za/files/c909v_625092001395306163.pdf





I am sure there is a hidden meaning in the date somewhere in there. But to assure you this article is genuine, and not some joke, I included my tweet from last night. My graduation ceremony is on April Fools day at 13h00. Somehow it takes away from the prestige. Just slightly. Perhaps the joke is on me, and all those others who fought from dawn to Cinderella's hour: and even then to witching hour, to insure we were well prepared for a career in law: whether or not this preparedness was enough visible in all of our exams. Or at least with some students,they  did so during some preparations for some exams some of the time (it is Wits not Harvard, after all). And some I suspect might not have studied at all, others we may see for the first time Today. Such is graduation, and we are all the April Fools to have studied this prestigious subject at all, or so the clock chimes, at 13h00, when we get our certificates, and leave behind the glass slipper of our youth?



- Marc Evan Aupiais

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