Category Archives: Staff news

TALKING TO “LOR”

A2_bIf you are a follower of our firm’s Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/schnetlersattorneys ) you would have noticed that the latest addition to our team of legal experts is Laura Ames. Laura was admitted as an attorney of the High Court on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 and I therefore thought it fitting to conduct a short interview with Laura so that our readers can get to know her a little better.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Cape Town and the first half of my life I lived in Edgemead with my mom, dad, younger sister and circus of animals. I attended Edgemead Primary School and thereafter moved to Rondebosch and attended Rustenburg High School for Girls.

When did you decide to become a lawyer?

It was sometime in Primary School, I remember wanting to study either law or accounting. In High School when it came to applying to universities I made my decision to apply for law. To my family and friends I am known as “Lor” – everyone thought that studying “law” was quite fitting – “Lor” studied law!

Where did you study?

I studied through Unisa taking full time classes at Varsity College in Rondebosch. Here we received one-on-one attention from the lecturers as our classes were usually restricted to no more than ten students per class. We were lectured by practising and retired attorneys thus we received first-hand knowledge which we found to be very enlightening.

Why do you want to be lawyer?

Simply put – I want to help people – that is why I decided to study law in the first place.

What challenges do you face in your profession as a young female attorney?

It can at times be difficult to be taken seriously as a professional since I am   young. It is also a well-known phrase that “the customer is always right” thus at times I find it challenging to know what is the best manner in which to explain and convince a difficult client that they are unfortunately mistaken in a certain situation and provide my professional advice.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

Only time will tell, but hopefully I would have climbed the “legal ladder” and perhaps be a director of a law firm.

What advice do you have for young people who are considering studying law?

I would advise that the road to qualifying as an attorney is very long and not an easy path. Before deciding to study law one must decide whether one is prepared and ready for much hard work and many sacrifices. The profession can be very rewarding at the end of this lengthy journey.

It was quite insightful to have a quick chat with my colleague and I, together with our firm’s directors and support staff wish Laura all of the best for her career in the legal profession. Be on the lookout in our next newsletter for more interesting interviews with the people behind the success story that is Schnetler’s Inc.

Compiled by: Annerine du Plessis

AN INSIGHT INTO MY TRIP TO MOROCCO DURING MAY 2014

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One of my greatest loves is travelling and I enjoy going to unusual places.  Everyone asked “why Morocco”? I said “why not”.

To me it conjured up exotic words and images such as babushka’s (shoes), jalabiyas (long dresses worn by both men and women); tagines (ceramic cooking pots) and berbers (nomadic people).

Morocco is steeped in history from the French invasion of 1912 to full independence in 1956.  It is a kingdom ruled by King Mohammed VI.

Morocco consists of the Sahara desert [one of the highlights of my trip was travelling in jeeps over sand dunes to watch the sunset, ride camels and drink a local beer]; the Atlas Mountains, the Ziz valley and it is bordered by both the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans with Rabat being the capital.

In fez, which is the country’s oldest imperial city, we visited the fascinating dye-pits and tanneries.

Quarzazate was the setting for a number of famous movies including Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopatra and Gladiator.

Marrakesh is comprised of an old fortified city – the medina – and has the largest traditional market (souk) where one can purchase beautiful carpets and unique souvenirs. The Djemaa el Fna Square is in the old quarter, with its palm readers, acrobats, camels and snake charmers.

Morocco’s economy seems to be booming. They are the largest producers of phosphate in the world. Huge donations are being made to them by Saudi Arabia and Dubai. One sees construction sites everywhere as well as vast amounts of partially built houses.  Apparently, the reason for this is that no rates and taxes are payable until they are fully completed.

For those of you who remember the movie “Casablanca” the original Rick’s Café is still operating.

There are numerous trees such as Cork, Oak, Cedar, Olive, Henna, Carob and Eucalyptus.

Camels, goats, sheep and donkeys abound in the rural areas.

Moslems, Christians and Jews live in harmony with free education and health care. Polygamous marriages are allowed provided that wife No. 1 agrees thereto. Some marriages are still arranged.  Abortion is illegal except for health reasons.

My memories of this beautiful and fascinating country will last me a lifetime.

BELINDA SCHOLTZ