ProBono.Org is a young, dynamic NGO that works with the private legal profession to provide pro bono legal services to the poor. We harness the enormous skill, might and strength of the South African private legal fraternity to cases and clients that we identify. Our existence is a response to the lack of access to justice for people in South African who are unable to pay for their own private legal representation. Section 34 of our Constitution, giving everyone the right to have any dispute resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court, or… another independent and impartial tribunal or forum, has no meaning whatsoever, if a person is unable to afford representation. ProBono.Org has as its goal, the creation of sufficient free legal representation for all who need it.
ProBono.Org is always busy training people, setting up workshops, creating new projects, meeting pro bono lawyers and clients and making sure that we make a difference.
ProBono.Org promotes, protects and realises the rights established in the Constitution by improving access to justice to poor, vulnerable and marginalised South Africans. We facilitate the provision of free legal service through the volunteerism of private lawyers. As South Africa struggles to overcome a legacy of chronic poverty and institutionalised discrimination, ProBono.Org enables pro bono legal services to be provided to thousands of poor clients. The first and only organisation of its kind in the country, our innovative model channels millions of rands worth of top quality legal assistance from the private legal profession to those who need these services. To quote former Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo, “legal representation will ensure that the constitutional promise of access to justice is available to all.”
ProBono.Org was established in October 2006 with initial 4 year funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies. Its growth and impact among the legal profession, the NGO sector and general public has been enormous in the short five-year period of its existence.
- From a budget of R1m at inception, its current budget is now R5,5 m per annum;
- Having been reliant on 1 donor in 2007, ProBono.Org has moved in 2012 to having 18;
- Having assisted a few hundred people per year in our first few years, ProBono.Org now assists nearly 4000 per annum;
- From having 7 attorney firms to rely on to do pro bono work for ProBono.Org’s clients, there are now over 180 firms and around 1500 attorneys available to its clients;
- From having a office in Johannesburg only, to opening one in Durban in March, 2011;
- From having a presence in Johannesburg only, ProBono.Org now has lawyers doing pro bono work in KZN, Limpopo, North West and the Vaal Triangle.