It is all systems go for the Attorneys Development Fund

April 1st, 2012
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By Chesley Mnisi

Let me introduce the Attorneys Development Fund (ADF) with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr, who once said: ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ This is my first article since I assumed the role of manager of the ADF earlier this year. I am very proud to be penning this article containing the much anticipated news of the arrival of the ADF – the empowering engine in the world of the legal profession. The ADF will provide substantial empowerment and positive transformation for new members of the profession.

The ADF is a joint venture between the constituent members of the Law Society of South Africa (the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers) and the Attorneys Fidelity Fund (AFF).

The ADF is a section 21 non-profit company that will assist attorneys by providing –

  • infrastructural resources for the establishment or operation of practices;
  • business support by accredited service providers; and
  • training by accredited training providers to empower attorneys to use infrastructure and resources in order to establish and properly manage sustainable practices.

The main focus of the ADF will be on assisting attorneys – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – to set up firms and provide them with the necessary business skills, infrastructural support and mentorship in order to ensure sustainability and growth in their law practices.

The ADF concept has been in the pipeline for some time and many prospective beneficiaries have been eagerly waiting for it to commence its duties. We are excited to announce that the ADF is ready to assume its function to provide infrastructure upgrading and skills development to various members of the profession who meet the prerequisites and criteria set out by the ADF board in consultation with its various stakeholders.

The ADF has sent out an advisory calling on interested and deserving individuals or law firms to apply for ADF intervention. The deadline for submitting applications is 10 April 2012. For more information on the ADF, for the criteria for loans and application forms consult the Law Society of South Africa website at www.lssa.org.za, contact the ADF at (012) 366 8800 or e-mail info@adf.za.net.

Chesley Mnisi is the manager of the Attorneys Development Fund.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (April) DR 54.