ProBono.Org shows appreciation to legal practitioners who dedicate their time to do good

June 1st, 2017
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By Kgomotso Ramotsho

PronoBono.Org held an Appreciation Awards ceremony to thank and show gratitude to legal practitioners and law firms who commit their time to do pro bono work. The awards ceremony took place in April in Pretoria. ProBono.Org’s National Director, Erica Emdon said the awards ceremony was held to simply show appreciation to legal practitioners who help in making sure people get access to justice.

National Director of the ProBono.Org, Erica Emdon, called out for more lawyers to do pro bono work. Ms Emdon was speaking at the Lawyers Appreciation awards ceremony in April.

Ms Emdon said ProBono.Org has been going strong for 11 years and that it relies on the private legal profession to donate their time and skills to people who cannot afford to pay their own legal fees. She added that it was still challenging to find attorneys and advocates to do pro bono work, because some of them are reluctant to commit themselves, but when ProBono.Org do find legal practitioners who are willing to do the work they are extremely grateful.

Ms Emdon noted that legal practitioners who do pro bono work, should realise how important they are to South Africa and they should be proud of themselves. Ms Emdon also pointed out that a lot more can still be done and asked legal practitioners who were at the awards ceremony to spread the word to their colleagues to join in doing pro bono work. She noted legal practitioners must not do pro bono work just because it is mandatory to do so, but they must do it willingly, because it is the essence of being a legal practitioners.

Black Lawyers Association General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Maponya Inc, Baitseng Rangata, speaking at the Lawyers Appreciation awards ceremony, hosted by ProBono.Org in April.

The General Secretary of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA), and Chief Executive Officer of Maponya Inc, Baitseng Rangata, assured ProBono.Org that legal practitioners who already do pro bono work will spread the word and do more pro bono work. Ms Rangata said when one does a good thing they never expect anything in return, but when you do get rewarded you can never say no. Ms Rangata on behalf of all the legal practitioners who received the awards, accepted the appreciation ProBono.Org has shown the legal practitioners who did pro bono work.

Ms Rangata said the President of the BLA, Lutendo Sigogo, stressed the message that the BLA is hard at work with its members, to encourage them and making sure that those who need legal practitioners can get them and receive quality access to justice. She pointed out that senior practitioners must also be committed and not just pass the pro bono work to candidate attorneys. She said senior practitioners must commit and make it their point to know what is happening with matters regarding pro bono cases.

Ms Rangata appealed to the legal practitioners to go out and give quality access to justice, to people who need it. ‘We have the capacity, we have the resources and let us do it,’ Ms Rangata said.

Some of the recipients of the awards were –

  • Maponya Inc;
  • Adams and Adams Attorneys;
  • Hahn and Hahn Attorneys;
  • Gildenhuys Malatji Inc;
  • University of Pretoria’s Law Clinic;
  • University of South Africa’s Law Clinic;
  • Advocate Sfiso Masina;
  • Advocate Amos Sithole;
  • Leso Attorneys;
  • Bleloch Attorneys
  • Spoor and Fisher Attorneys;
  • MacRobert Attorneys;
  • Rooth Wessels Inc; and
  • Ndima Legal Consultants.

 

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (June) DR 12.

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