As we already mentioned in our article about free legal aid in South Africa, getting legal support from attorneys is too expensive for many people. LAWGATE receives many requests for free legal aid from Kenya, therefore in this article we’ll tell you how to get free legal help in Kenya.
Here is an overview of all the different ways to get legal services free of charge in Kenya.
Pro Bono Legal Services
Pro bono means “for the good of the public”: this type of legal services are given for free to people that cannot afford to pay.
Attorneys offer “pro bono” services to help the community, for charity or humanitarian reasons. In some countries it is required by law or by the ethical code of conduit of the bar associations.
In Kenya the pro bono activity is mandated and regulated by the Constitution: you can find the relative articles at this link here.
To qualify for pro bono assistance, one must have a low income or no income at all, and one’s legal problem must have a merit. Attorneys or associations offering pro bono normally perform a “means test”, to check that the applicant’s income is low enough.
Some attorney members of the Law Society of Kenya offer pro bono services. Check the LSK website for more information: http://www.lsk.or.ke/
Furthermore, also some of the kenyan lawyers at LAWGATE are willing to offer pro bono legal aid. Sign up for free at LAWGATE and contact them to check wether they do pro bono.
The situation of legal aid in Kenya is unfortunately rather poor. The kenyan Government provides free legal aid only to people accused of capital crimes.
For all the people accused of noncapital crimes, there’s no government support. Therefore they need to pay a lawyer or resort to NGOs.
One NGO that does legal aid in Kenya is Kituo Cha Sheria. They are the most experienced and they help people in Kenya since 40 years: check their website at www.kituochasheria.or.ke.
Law Clinics are legal aid or law school programs that provide legal services to clients in need and experience for the law students. Legal clinics normally do pro bono work in a particular area, thus giving free legal services to people in need.
You can google “law clinic” in Kenya to find some of them.
This method is not really free, because one must pay a subscription fee to a legal insurance company. Anyway the legal insurance is way cheaper than paying an attorney. A legal insurance makes sense particularly if one foresees to have multiple or recurring legal issues, as for instance it is the case of small business owners.
If you want more information about the legal insurances try to google “legal insurance kenya”. You will find some insurance companies, with different prices and services offered.
Attorneys often undertake civil litigation (such as personal injury and traffic accident claims) on a contingency basis, for people who have an income that is too high to qualify for pro bono assistance. Contingency basis means “no-win-no-fee”: if you lose in court you will not pay any fee; if you win, the lawyer will take a contingency fee from what the defendant must pay you.
You can ask to any lawyer if they work on contingency fee, including those here at LAWGATE. Sign up for free here and send a description of your case to our lawyers, to check if they will take your case for a contingency fee.
For corruption related cases you can contact the non profit organization Transparency International Kenya. They offer free legal advice for all cases where corruption is the issue. More information here on their website: https://tikenya.org/legal-advice/#
Interested in African legal issues? Check out our interview with the Nigerian lawyer Oghale Enuku here.