Legal Legacies: Celebrating the women of Hammond Pole and honouring the trailblazers who inspired them

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Legal Legacies: Celebrating the women of Hammond Pole and honouring the trailblazers who inspired them

At Hammond Pole Attorneys, we proudly acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the women who are an integral part of our diverse and dedicated team. Their unwavering commitment to serving our clients and contributing to the success of our firm is truly commendable.


As we recognise the significant contributions of our present-day legal professionals, we must also pay homage to the legal giants who paved the way for women, left an indelible mark on the legal landscape, and inspired our Attorneys on their journey.


Carla de Waal

Jacolene Jansen van Vuuren

Like me, Jacolene studied at the University of Potchefstroom and graduated with a BCom (Law) and LLB degree. After completing her articles of clerkship at Hammond Pole and being admitted as an attorney of the High Court in 2017, she moved on to run the Defended Department. She has a favourite quote, “Fake it until you make it,” which reminds me to persist and to have faith in myself. In her role as mentor, she assists me in continuing my thirst for knowledge and problem-solving. Without her guidance, I would not be the attorney I am today.


Jacolene Jansen van Vuuren

Judge Elmarie Van der Schyff

Not only was she one of my lecturers at the North-West University when I studied BCom Law and LLB, but she was also appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a Judge of the Gauteng Division of the High Court.


Judge van der Schyff was an excellent lecturer and not only was her knowledge of law admirable but she also had the ability to leave her students with a new understanding of law. She has worked herself up from being a student at the North-West University, to running her own law firm, to lecturing at the North-West University and finally being appointed as a Judge. As such she has shown that perseverance and hard work pays off and therefore, she is a woman to be admired by any female in South Africa.


Michelle Orsmond

Advocate Michelle Saville

An Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, Michelle Saville possesses vast expertise in various fields of law, is an Academic and has made a significant impact on my personal and professional development.


I first met Michelle Saville in 2010 when I started my LLB. She was my lecturer throughout my university career, my mentor and my guide. Michelle has devoted her life and career to teaching others and especially young women to take the next steps in their careers and to persevere through any challenge. With Michelle’s example, I am committed to championing the cause of women within the legal sorority.


Santie Van Eeden

Leonora van den Heever (nee Rautenbach)

Van den Heever was admitted to the Bloemfontein bar in 1952 at the age of 26 and went on to become senior counsel in 1968. In 1969 she was appointed as a judge and became the first female judge to be appointed permanently by the appellate division of the South Africa Supreme Court.  In 1987 she was awarded the Women’s Bureau Achievement award, in 1996 she received the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Pretoria and obtained an honorary LLD from the University of Stellenbosch in 1997.


She was known as a person with integrity, a charming personality and ability to work hard. She was committed to a well-known maxim of the law – justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.


Shannon Gerhard

Professor Thuli Madonsela

Infamous for her role as former public protector and the ‘State Capture Report”. Professor Thuli Madonsela is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, as well as a Law Professor at the University of Stellenbosch. She holds five honorary Doctor of Law degrees and has filled many leadership roles and facilitated and co-drafted several laws.


Professor Madonsela has devoted her life fearlessly to activism and social justice. I have the deepest admiration and respect for her and believe she is not only an inspiration to me but to all women and proves that the legal profession needs leading females to drive change. I hope to make a mark similar to Professor Thuli Madonsela.



Let us remember that progress knows no bounds when we unite, celebrate each other’s achievements, and create a platform for every individual to reach their full potential. Happy Women’s Day!


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