The Johannesburg office is situated at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein. We have a staff complement of 12, which includes the National Director, a Head Staff Attorney, two legal advisers, two interns, an Operations, Grants and Communications Manager, a Financial Manager, an Office Manager, a Receptionist and a number of volunteers.
We operate a legal clearinghouse where we see clients on a daily basis and refer cases to our panel of pro bono attorneys where necessary. In addition, we hold legal clinics on matters relating to wills and deceased estates, refugees, labour law, housing, domestic violence, family law and consumer law. Click here for more information.
We also hold a number of workshops throughout the year, for both attorneys and communities. More information can be found here.
We also work with a number of NGOs and CBOs who refer cases to us.
The Durban office is situated at Suite 701, 7th Floor, 303 Anton Lembede Street (Entrance on Durban Club Place). Our location in the heart of the CBD ensures that we are readily accessible to anybody who may need our services, as public transport is always available. We therefore have a number of clients who walk in off the street on a daily basis.
We have a staff component of 8, with numerous volunteers who assist us on a regular basis. The office consists of 2 attorneys, 4 interns, 1 administrator and a Director. We run help desks throughout the week, at various venues in the Durban CBD and surrounds. We have 4 general advice help desks, viz, at Chatsworth, Umlazi, Ntuzuma and Verulam. These are located in areas which predominantly house people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and cater to the most marginalised members of the community. People who attend at these help desks, get advice on a range of issues.
Our specialised help desks are all located in the Durban CBD. Attorneys who staff these help desks are usually experts in their field. They can assess and give advice on the merits of a case on the spot. This ensures that matters are dealt with as speedily as possible and clients are very appreciative of this. In 2014, we had over 3000 clients contacting us. While our primary aim is to assist individual clients in getting legal assistance and attorneys to fulfill their pro bono hours, we also assist NGO’s with their various legal issues. We have recently embarked on an exciting project with an NGO, whereby we provide legal seminars specially tailored to them. Word of this project has spread and we have been contacted by other NGO’s who would like to take advantage of the same opportunity.
In addition to the services mentioned above, we also host workshops and seminars for attorneys and members of the community on a regular basis. The seminars for attorneys are run by attorneys experienced in the field and are generally very well attended as attorneys recognise the value of these seminars. We currently have over 200 attorneys on our panel and it is a matter of pride that this number is constantly growing. We also have several advocates on our panel and it is hoped that, going forward, more will join. It is gratifying to note that members of the legal profession see the value of the work that we do and we look forward to growing further…together.
The celebration of the 10th anniversary of ProBono.Org in 2016 coincided with the launch of a new office in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
The formal opening launch of the Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha took place on 13 October 2016. The centre is managed by the Khayelitsha Youth and Community Centre Trust and was primarily funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies with support from the Harry Crossley Foundation and the Bertha Foundation.
The Centre is the first of its kind and operates as a social justice hub which will be home to ProBono.Org and eight other NGO’s working with and for underprivileged communities. These NGOs include Equal Education (EE), Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Workers World Media Productions, Health Equity South Africa, the Thope Foundation and the Equal Education Law Centre.
The Isivivana Centre will certainly bring about positive change within Khayelitsha and surrounding communities through these various organisations working towards empowering and improving the lives of the less fortunate. These NGOs all have different mandates but their common goal is to make access to social justice more easily accessible for the marginalised.
ProBono.Org Cape Town acts as a legal clearinghouse and aims to provide pro bono legal assistance to indigent and marginalised persons through the private legal profession. In doing so, we aim to get attorneys and advocates on board to join our panel in order for us to send them instructions and briefs on areas of law in which they specialise or prefer. As such, we are one of the Cape Law Society’s recognised structures, and attorneys may elect to receive tailored pro bono instructions from our office instead. ProBono.Org will then track, record and report on pro bono hours to the Cape Law Society directly.
In addition, we aim to hold legal clinics and community workshops staffed by representatives from various firms on different legal issues such as deceased estates, family law, consumer law and housing matters, to name a few. These legal clinics and community workshops will be hosted at our offices in Khayelitsha and at other venues such as the Master’s Office, the Deeds Office, and various Magistrates’ Courts, thereby making access to justice realisable.
Furthermore, we aim to organise legal seminars conducted by attorneys or advocates to educate fellow legal professionals on areas of the law that may be unfamiliar to them.