Sharita Samuel is the co-lead of the land programme and is based in the LRC’s Durban offices. After graduating, Sharita commenced work with the legal division of a commercial bank before joining the Legal Resources Centre’s Fellowship Programme. She successfully petitioned the then chief justice to amend the law society rules to permit the LRC in Durban to register her as an articled clerk. On being admitted to the roll of attorneys, Sharita was invited to serve at the Legal Resources Centre. Between 1995 and 2009 she litigated, advocated, trained, and published precedent-setting family law and gender equity cases from a constitutional and socio-economic perspective. This included working with the Southern African Legal Assistance Network to train on equality and discrimination issues in Namibia, Malawi and Zambia; serving as a director on the board of Agenda – a feminist media project that advances publishing opportunities for black women writers; lecturing at the Workers College and training union members and factory workers on labour economics and workers’ rights and then working in partnership with Global Rights (Washington) to provide strategic women’s rights litigation training for women lawyers from the Maghreb region and Mongolia. In 2010 Sharita commenced her private law practice specialising in
labour, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and family law but was persuaded to return to the Legal Resources Centre as the regional director in Durban in 2016. She currently holds that position as well as co-leading the LRC Land Programme. She attributes her passion for public interest law and advocacy to her training with a generation of outstanding LRC lawyers. She has a deep interest in the intersection between the lived experiences of women and international human rights law and the opportunities it reveals in the preparation of her strategic litigation processes and the extraordinary remedies it emboldens. She remains committed to improving her contribution to ultimately benefit South Africa and the LRC clients as the implementation of legal frameworks highlights the need for a greater armoury of civil society interventions.