Sports trainer by day, paralegal by night, Ruth Botha is an inspirational individual and a lifelong learner. She started working as a pro bono paralegal to help those who can’t afford legal support but realised she needed to keep her paralegal skills up to date and looked towards paralegal courses.
“Law has always been a passion of mine as far back as my junior days. But as you know, life takes you in different directions. I ended up becoming a teacher and a sports trainer – something I love to do. But, my passion for law never went away.”
When Ruth saw that the University of Cape Town and GetSmarter were presenting a Paralegal Practitioner online short course, she knew it was time to act.
“I told myself I have no excuse now – I’m going to prove to myself that I can do this. Paralegals can really make a difference in the legal field. They can give people hope to start again – and help people to take back their dignity as human beings.”Paralegals can give people hope to start again - and help people to take back their dignity - Ruth Lee Botha, Past Student Click To Tweet
With the support of her family and friends, Ruth enrolled on the online paralegal course from UCT, ensuring that she was committing herself to course focused on training paralegals, and began what would be a new chapter in her life.
“Learning about paralegal online with UCT and GetSmarter was amazing. I felt supported all the way, and I loved being able to learn in my own time. I now know the many branches of law; I know how to apply it in my own life; I understand it. And because of this I can share this knowledge, listen to people, and apply what I know to help them.”
Today, Ruth is busier than ever. She wakes up at 4am, goes to work – where she facilitates sports training – then comes home at lunch time and switches to paralegal mode. She drives to clients and helps them with queries and legal advice, confident in her paralegal abilitlies. When she gets home in the evening, she carries on working, going through cases and preparing documents.
Ruth recently closed her first case, something she will forever remember as a highlight of her life.
“Today, I’m making a difference in the lives of people. And I have GetSmarter to thank for that. They brought me one of the world’s best universities and the respect that comes with it. If you want to help people empower themselves, you need to empower yourself first. So, take a leap and start learning.”
The online paralegal course from UCT that Ruth embarked on is aimed at providing training for paralegals by empowering them to understand South African legislation and arms them with administrative skills to achieve more in their role of paralegal.