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CrowdJustice - crowdfunding legal action and public interest law

Julia Salasky is the founder and CEO of CrowdJustice, where she leads on strategy, business development and international growth.

We caught up with Julia to talk about crowdfunding public interest law and how CrowdJustice can help raise finance for good causes that need to take legal action.

Why should charities, community groups and social entrepreneurs be excited about crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding on CrowdJustice gives everyone the opportunity to access the law – whether it’s an individual who would benefit from funding and support, a community group fighting to protect a local asset, or a charity seeking to run strategic litigation.  

For community groups, it’s a way to empower a huge network to be involved in decisions that affect communities.

For charities, it’s an enormous opportunity to gain new supporters, spread the word about the issues they care about to a much wider audience, and bring legal cases they might not otherwise be able to fund.

Why was your platform set up and what are you hoping to achieve?

We launched in order to help everyone access the legal system.  

Some cases that have an enormous social impact struggle to get funded. We’ve seen cases ranging from a challenge to a cleaning company’s practices with its low-paid workers, to a national challenge to junior doctors’ employment contracts. But what’s more, people who come together to support issues that they care about are able to participate in a legal system that often seems distant and remote.

How can your platform help people or organisations interested in fundraising for a good cause?

Individuals and charities alike have used the platform in order to bring legal cases they otherwise wouldn't be able to. Since launching last year, we’ve helped claimants raise more than £1.3 million to cover everything from court fees, to legal fees, to adverse costs.

Could you give an example of what a typical CrowdJustice project looks like?

There’s no typical CrowdJustice case. From judicial reviews, to inquests and environmental cases, we’ve seen a huge range of people bring cases, and issues be decided before the courts.

To give a few examples: five junior doctors raised funds and support from thousands of people to challenge the government’s new employment contracts, one group rallied hundreds of small donations to take a Supreme Court case that ended up changing 30 years of discriminatory criminal case law, and local communities have challenged threats to their local environment like the decision to put a hazardous landfill next to a local school.  

Are there any unique features of your platform we should know about?

We’re the only crowdfunding platform that has lawyer-client money rules, and the requirements of funding legal cases built into its fabric. People have to have a lawyer to raise funds on CrowdJustice, so donors know they’re giving to a real case. We know what it means to take a legal case and the platform is set up specifically to accommodate the various nuances and rules of legal funding. Overall, we have an unsurpassed level of due diligence and compliance on the people setting up cases and donating via our platform, which is necessary for legal crowdfunding.

If you could give three tips to someone using crowdfunding for a good cause what would they be?

1) Tell your story in the most powerful way you can.

2) Get two or three friends or supporters to help spread the word.

3) Dedicate some time to brainstorming in advance.

You can learn more about CrowdJustice and the projects it supports at www.crowdjustice.co.uk.

Read the other interviews with crowdfunding platforms.

Photo Credit: (c) CrowdJustice

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