The Claude Leon Foundation


ProBono.Org was started in 2006 as a clearing house - still the only one in the country - to engage lawyers to take on the cases of people who could not afford to pay for their services.

Their purpose is to make real the right of access to justice as enshrined in Section 34 of the Bill of Rights which states: “Everyone has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum.

They focus on civil lawand they run a number of legal clinics at their offices as well as help desks at courts and other sites such as the Master’s Offices and the Deeds Offices. They have three offices - in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town - and they are able to assist up to 10,000 people a year with a small staff of 17. Many people also walk into their offices for legal assistance.

Their panel of volunteer attorneys has grown over the years and through them they are able to provide legal assistance worth many millions of Rand per year to indigent and marginalised clients.

Their legal clinics and help desks provide assistance in the areas of labour law, family law, child law, housing, deceased estates, police brutality and refugee law and they provide support to a number of community advice offices across the country.

They also provide legal empowerment workshops for communities on aspects of the law that affect their lives, and also train legal professionals and candidate attorneys on areas of the law that they may not be familiar with or in areas that are difficult, e.g. refugee law, so that they are equipped to help the clients that request our services.

They hope that with the new regulations mandating 40 hours of community service/pro bono work by legal practitioners they will be able to assist many more people in need of legal services.


© 2012 The Claude Leon Foundation. All rights Reserved.