Rhodes University Law Clinic

Rhodes University Law Clinic

The Rhodes University Law Clinic (the Clinic) is a non-profit-making organisation that was established about 25 years ago. It  is presently funded by inter alia the Attorneys’ Fidelity Fund, Rhodes University, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Open Society Foundation. It depends entirely on outside funding for its existence, and continued fund-raising is therefore essential.

The Clinic has developed in recent years to focus on the following primary objectives:

  • the provision of free legal services to the indigent people of Grahamstown and the surrounding area who cannot afford to pay a private practitioner, thereby increasing access to justice to the poorest of the poor and creating a greater respect for the rule of law;
  • the education of Rhodes law students in the practical application of the law in order to enable them to serve clients in an effective, efficient, productive, ethical, business-minded and socially conscious manner;
  • providing support, training and back-up legal services to paralegal advice offices throughout the Eastern Cape Province.

Appointment of Patron of the Law Clinic

The Law Faculty is proud to announce an exciting new development: the appointment of the Honourable Judge Lex Mpati as Patron of the Rhodes University Law Clinic.

Judge Mpati is President of the Supreme Court of Appeal and Chancellor of Rhodes University.  He is an alumnus of the Rhodes University Law Faculty, having obtained the LLB degree in 1983.  After graduating from Rhodes, Judge Mpati practised as an attorney and then as an advocate for a number of years, where he was attached to the Grahamstown branch of the Legal Resources Centre.  In 1997 he was appointed a permanent judge of the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court.  In 1999 he was appointed as a judge of appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).  In 2003 he became Deputy President of the SCA, and in 2008 achieved the signal honour of becoming the first alumnus of this Faculty to be appointed President of the SCA.

Judge Mpati will be contributing in numerous ways to the work of the Law Clinic, including the provision of counsel and advice to the Management Committee on the Clinic’s strategic direction, and he will be a wonderful role model for the staff and students of the Clinic.  He will also provide invaluable support for the Clinic’s fundraising endeavours, in particular a Rhodes Law alumni fundraising drive to be launched shortly, which will go a long way towards ensuring the longer-term sustainability of the Law Clinic.

Vision and Mission Statement

The vision of the Rhodes University Law Clinic is to promote a culture of human rights, to ensure that any indigent person in its sphere of influence will have access to justice and that every Rhodes University student, paralegal and community member who participates in its programs will receive information, education and training of the highest quality.

The mission of the Rhodes University Law Clinic is:

  • To promote a culture of human rights as enshrined in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
  • To provide professional and efficient legal services to indigent and/or vulnerable groups and individuals.
  • To provide legal education and training to law students at Rhodes University, to paralegals and to communities

Both the Grahamstown and Queenstown (QRLC) offices offer free legal services to the indigent, as well as offering a back-up legal service to advice offices throughout the Eastern Cape.

For assistance clients may visit our office, where the reception staff will assist them. They will ascertain the broad outline of the nature of the matter,  its urgency and make the necessary appointments. A screening test, to ensure that the client qualifies for assistance will be undertaken. To qualify for assistance there is a maximum income limit, however other factors will also be taken into consideration when a matter is accepted by the clinic.

In general the clinic handles civil matters, with a limited number of criminal matters.

For more information see:

Grahamstown – Rhodes University Law Clinic


Tel: 046 622 9301 / 9310 /9311
Fax: 046 622 9312
083 634 3698 (office cell)

41 New Street
PO Box 702

QRLC – Queenstown Rural Legal Centre


Tel 045 838 5600
Fax: 045 838 5271
OFFICE CELL: 082 907 6998

24 Ebden Street
P O Box 1408