Crowdfunding for public-interest lawsuits has come to the US, just in time for Trump’s presidency

Individual contributions add up to cover legal fees, and CrowdJustice helps promote the issue online. The platform’s pitch is simple—justice should be accessible to anyone.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Hanna Kozlowska
February 5, 2017

Tags: Funding: Private/Foundation, Justice for All

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Justice Center (Virginia), National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) at Fordham Law School


David Udell, executive director of the National Center for Access to Justice at Fordham Law School said that “at a glance, CrowdJustice looks great.” However, he underlined that it doesn’t solve the lack of access to justice—an acute problem in America, where there is less than one civil legal-aid lawyer per 10,000 US citizens. These lawyers provide crucial help to the poor who face eviction, child custody battles or rent disputes.

“It can come to the rescue for select cases that are portrayable in ways that tug at the heartstrings or alarm the public,” he said. “Third-party funding is an important complement to government-funded free civil legal aid, but for the large number of people with genuine unmet legal needs, the critically important thing is to preserve and expand free civil legal aid.”