The Lawyer as Rule-of-Law Activist: Activating the Next Generation

Celebrating 20 Years of the Vance Center and the African Legal Fellows Program

We invite you to join us in Johannesburg in October to celebrate the Vance Center’s 20th anniversary and 20 years of our flagship African Legal Fellows Program, along with leading legal practitioners from across the African continent, the United States, and beyond.

This three-day event will recognize more than two decades of success among the Vance Center’s legal networks, beginning in South Africa and expanding far beyond, to support pro bono practice and a more diverse, inclusive legal profession in sub-Saharan Africa. The event will include distinguished keynote speakers from the South African and international legal fields, in-depth panel discussions on key issues for African legal practitioners, in-person visits to law firms and legal institutions, networking, and much more.

The South Africa celebration caps a yearlong series of anniversary events, beginning in New York City in October 2022, followed by a conference in Bogotá, Colombia, in March 2023. 

Find more information about the event below. A detailed agenda, including panelists and guest speakers, will be available closer to the event date.

Join us to look back at the accomplishments of the last two decades and add your voice to the discussion of where the next 20 years will take us.


Day One: October 11 

Group Visits and Law Firm Meetings: Meetings with partners at law firms and other legal institutions in Johannesburg. 

Optional cultural activities TBA 

Opening Reception: Welcome Remarks, Keynote Conversation, Networking & Reception 


Day Two: October 12 

Breakfast, Welcome and ALF Fireside Chat 

Panel Discussion Sessions 1 & 2

Lunch and Keynote Address 

Panel Discussion Sessions 3 & 4

Closing Remarks and Reception 


Day Three: October 13 

Group Visits and Law Firm Meetings: Meetings with partners at law firms and other legal institutions in Johannesburg. 

Opening Reception

Keynote conversation with Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya and former U.S. Attorney General Hon. Loretta E. Lynch.

Session 1 - The role of the private sector and the legal profession in securing the rule of law and combatting corruption

Session 2 - African women in the legal profession: Advancing opportunities and addressing challenges

Session 3 - Pro bono practice in Africa: Challenges and prospects

Session 4 - The independent bar as a bulwark of a democratic and pluralist society

Evening Reception