Many people need legal advice at some point in their lives. This can be obtained from attorneys, who are legal professionals who have the relevant knowledge and skills to provide legal advice. Legal advice is written or oral counsel about a legal matter that would affect the rights and responsibilities of the person receiving the advice.
The giving of legal advice is tantamount to the practice of law and it requires careful analysis, which is why it can only be dispensed by qualified legal practitioners.
Where to get legal assist services in South Africa
If you can afford the costs that come with using the services of an attorney, this may be the best way to get legal assist services in South Africa. For many people, however, these services are largely unaffordable. There are also various options available.
The Law Society of South Africa provides access to Legal Aid South Africa. This organisation provides legal aid to those who cannot afford their own legal representation.
To qualify for Legal Aid SA, individuals must earn less than R5500 per month after tax. In order to qualify for free legal assistance, a person must comply with a ‘means’ test and have a legal problem with merit.
You will be referred to an attorney by the law society who will assist you free of charge (pro bono.) The attorney will not charge any fees for the work and legal services provided.
First interview Scheme
The First Interview Scheme provides legal assist services in South Africa by making attorney services more readily available to members of the public. The scheme has been introduced to assist those members of the public who would not normally make use of the services of an attorney, or who may hesitate to consult an attorney for fear of the possible high fees resulting from their services.