Are Legal Aid lawyers as good as any other?
When something is free or very cheap we always tend to think of the product as inferior. Here’s why Legal Aid lawyers break that mindset –
Legal Aid lawyers set a shining Example
- They act in the interests of their clients
- Clients trust them with their skills and knowledge
- The Law Society of South Africa registers all lawyers
- Their lawyers are all trained professionals
- Attorneys who are members of the Law Society have to offer 24 hours of pro bono services each year
Legal Aid Lawyers always Act in the Interest of their Clients
In any legal system, there are lawyers who work free of charge and are paid by the state. And there are lawyers who work privately and charge a fee.
Legal aid lawyers in this country always act in the interests of their clients. They deal with all those who have fallen on the wrong side of the law. Because the legal profession is ancient it plays an important role regarding the moral justice in the country.
For the role that the lawyer plays, there needs to be a strong relationship of trust between the lawyer and the client.
Lawyers you can Trust
The client needs to know that they can trust a lawyer with their skills and knowledge that they claim to have. No one can practise as a lawyer without the required qualifications as well as have certain ethical standards.
It just not good enough to have all the knowledge without having the moral standing to practice. Dealing with legal issues requires sound judgement, and the lawyers help those who can’t afford access to justice. These lawyers have a goal to promote a system where the poorer public can get justice.
Finding a Good Lawyer
Knowing how to find a good lawyer can be quite difficult. If you commit a crime either an attorney or advocate will represent you at court.
An attorney provides services for a range of cases in civil and criminal matters. The attorney also decides when to bring an advocate onto the case if required. Advocates are very specialised in a particular area of law and are experts in appearing in court.
The Law Society of South Africa registers all attorneys. However, it’s up to you to check. You can contact the provincial law society in your area and check to see whether the name of your attorney is on their registration list. An attorney will represent the arrested person in the Regional Magistrates Court.
The aim of Legal Aid lawyers –
- To make legal aid, as well as legal advice, available to those who cant afford a lawyer
- Is to provide legal advice at the expense of the state
- To provide information concerning legal rights and obligations
Lawyers who work in the public interest sometimes provide their services free of charge or pro bono (“acting for the good of the public”). They undertake work without payment or at a reduced fee. Legal Aid has staff that provide free legal services for indigent persons who are unable to afford the private legal fees of independent lawyers.
If you’re interested in an attorney, Legal Aid will assist you free of charge as it is funded by the Government. You can apply for bail at the police station or at the Magistrates Court within 48 hours of arrest. The Magistrate or Judge set the bail conditions.
If you receive police bail, you can ask the Justice Centre to apply for a Legal Aid lawyer. Legal Aid has a number of Justice Centres across the Country. Find out where your closest one is by contacting their toll-free line on 0800 110 110. A Magistrates Court works differently.
There’s No Reason for Distrust
Clients often think Legal Aid is an inferior form of advice, when in fact Legal Aid has excellent lawyers. Clients are not chosen by Legal Aid lawyers – they are simply connected to those who require their services. Do you require their services with any legal issues?
Skilled Lawyers on your Side
If you can’t afford a lawyer, Legal Aid is there for you, and their skills are of the best you can find.