Introducing our Franklin Thomas fellow 2023 - 2024, Lehlohonolo January
The Constitutional Court Trust has recently awarded fellowships for the 2023 - 2024 academic year.
The Franklin Thomas Fellowship, funded by the Ford Foundation in honour of their first Black president, Franklin Thomas, is intended to benefit promising young Black South Africans who have clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa by providing them with the opportunity to study towards a one-year LLM at a well-respected law school in the USA.
Lehlohonolo January, current clerk to Justice Tshiqi, will be the Franklin Thomas fellow for 2023 - 2024. He studied law at the University of the Western Cape where he participated in, and trained students for, various Moot Court Competitions, and served as a student consultant at the UWC Legal Aid Clinic, before going on to clerk, first at the Supreme Court of Appeal, and from 2022 at the Constitutional Court. Lehlohonolo describes his motivaton for entering the legal profession in South African and what he is hoping to achieve through his fellowship:
I have from a young age, always had the desire to work within the legal industry, a desire which became cemented from my visits to the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, Makhanda, (where my father worked as an interpreter) where I found myself reading old court papers, law journals and textbooks, understanding absolutely nothing but seduced by the language and overall ambiance of being in a courtroom. One of the highlights of my time at the Constitutional Court has been being awarded the Thomas Franklin Fellowship which resonates with me personally due to the shared interest I have with Mr Franklin in gender-specific projects that are aimed at improving the lives of women. Upon my return to South Africa, I plan on becoming an Advocate and using my professional qualifications to advance strategic social justice initiatives through litigation and community engagement efforts