'Exam prep courses' case study: Elani van As

Monday, September 11, 2023, 10:40
Elani van As

Elani van As attended Gawie le Roux Institute of Law's exam preparation courses.  She passed her conveyancing and notarial exams in April 2023.


A triple threat

On September 1, 2023, she achieved a significant milestone by being admitted as a Conveyancer and Notary in the High Court of South Africa, Western Cape Division.


About Elani

"I am an Information Officer in the Producer Services Department of Ceres Fruit Growers (Pty) Ltd (“CFG”).  I started on 1 July 2018 to date."



"I completed Grade 12 in 2006 at Outeniqua High School in George, South Africa.  My passion for the sciences led me to Stellenbosch University, where I pursued and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from 2007 to 2009.

After gaining a solid foundation in the sciences, I decided to pivot towards the legal field.  I returned to Stellenbosch University and completed a three-year postgraduate LLB degree from 2010 to 2012.  This transition marked a significant turning point in my career.

In 2013, I took the next step in my professional journey by becoming a candidate attorney at Fourie Basson & Veldtman in Parow.  During my time there, I honed my legal skills and gained valuable experience in the field of law.

From January 2015 to September 2017, I served as a General Litigation Attorney at Joubert Van Vuuren Inc in Ceres.  This role allowed me to further specialise in litigation and advocacy, representing clients in various legal matters.

In October 2017, I decided to explore new horizons and ventured into the agricultural field, taking up the position of Product Coordinator at Delecta Fruit (Pty) Ltd in Ceres. 

Since July 2018, I have been serving as an Information Officer at Ceres Fruit Growers (Pty) Ltd in Ceres.  Here I apply my strong administrative, organisational, and communication skills to manage information-related matters within the organisation, as well as between the organisation and our various producers and industry roleplayers. 

My dedication to self-improvement and gaining knowledge remained steadfast, and on September 1, 2023, I achieved a significant milestone by being admitted as a Conveyancer and Notary in the High Court of South Africa, Western Cape Division.  This accomplishment reflects my commitment to continuous growth and development through dedication, determination, and hard work.

Throughout my journey, I've embraced diverse experiences and challenges, combining my scientific background with legal expertise to contribute to various sectors.  I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead and the positive impact I can make."


Motivation for writing the LPC's conveyancing and notarial exams

"When I did litigation, I was very unhappy.  The day I left in 2017, I left law behind.  As time went by I always wondered: “What if I did do the conveyancing and notary exams back then?”  At the end of 2021 I was exploring options of courses I could do for self-improvement.  I reached a point where I decided to fall back into the law path and just do the conveyancing and notary exams.  So what if I was 33 years old at the time, and so what that I wasn’t practicing, and so what that I had a family, including a baby and a toddler?  Once I flipped that switch in my mind, I was committed to getting it done!"


How did our exam prep courses assist you in preparing for the exams?

"My full-time job didn’t allow for time off to watch and engage in the live preparation courses for the conveyancing and notary exams.  I found it very helpful that I could purchase access to the recordings, which I watched in my own time during evenings and on weekends.  Erinda [Frantzen] is a fantastic lecturer and she explained so many concepts totally different than how I understood it when only reading through the material on my own.  I appreciated the extensive bundles of material that were sent to me via PostNet as I used all of it in my preparation!"


Elani's advice on passing the conveyancing exam the second time around

"I wrote the two conveyancing exams in September 2022.  When I opened Paper 2 I panicked and knew I was in big trouble.  I couldn’t get my head straight and I failed the exam.  I was crushed because I had put in so many hours of preparation and sacrificed so much time that could’ve been spent with my family.  It was extremely hard to force myself back to my chair to sit and try again.  On the second try, I practiced much more by writing out example after example.  It isn’t enough to do one example and then just scan through it when going over the work again.  Practice, practice, practice!  I passed Paper 2 in April 2023." 


On balancing work, family, and studies

"In my case, I have a very supportive husband without whom I wouldn’t have been able to do this. 

Elani and De Wet van As
Elani and her husband, De Wet.

After work I made necessary stops i.e. for groceries, I picked up our kids, got home, got all their stuff ready for the next day, and gave them dinner.  By the time my husband came home, we bathed and dressed the kids together.  I then tried to close the door behind me to study by 18:30.  My husband watched the kids, put them to bed, and prepared dinner for us.  During my first try, I would study until about 23:00, but then I couldn’t get my head to switch off.  The second time I studied till about 21:00 when we ate dinner (late - I know, but it felt like a reward for studying!), after which I watched something on the telly with my husband and went to bed more relaxed in order to get in good sleep. 

During weekends, I got myself to start studying at about 09:00 and I would push myself until I felt I couldn’t anymore.  If I studied in the afternoon, I wouldn’t study in the evening.  My husband watched the kids, fed them, took them to birthday parties and they attended church without me.  During our annual leave in 2022, I took my study material with us.  I made a point to do something with my family every morning and then went to study in a quiet space in the afternoons. 

I worked out a schedule for myself to get to all the work multiple times.  I left spaces in the schedule for social events, weekends away, and time off during our annual leave in 2022.  I also left room to adjust my schedule.

Usually, I would stop studying about a day before the exam.  In April 2023 I however got up early to scan over work the mornings before the exams.  I got some of the spotted work in the exams.  Probably just luck, but it made me feel better while sitting in the exams. 

Anyone with a family attempting this must realise beforehand that it is a huge commitment not only made by you.  It is made by your whole family, especially by your partner.  You can’t start this if your whole heart isn’t in it, because then you will fail.  It is hard.  Very hard.  Keep going though, because the reward of succeeding is unmatchable!"

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