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Julia Salasky, founder of CrowdJustice—a crowdfunding platform that enables individuals, groups and communities to come together to fund legal action—explains how the CrowdJustice model operates and how it seeks to provide access to justice for previously financially-untenable cases.
What have been your biggest challenges since you started?
It’s always a challenge to start something up – you have the kernel of an idea, and from that you need to do everything from creating the technology to finding funding to start up, to building the team – all while actually executing on the idea.
All of those elements require an enormous amount of energy and a lot of faith in the idea. There will always be people who find ways to criticise innovation that challenges the status quo and entrenched power structures, but we’ve been really lucky in that we’ve come to the market at a time when people are hungry to be involved in their communities, to be socially aware and to make a difference – and CrowdJustice gives them a platform to do that in a concrete and tangible way.
How has the legal community reacted to this new method of funding?
There is always an adoption curve with any new technology. Law is an industry that is notoriously slow to innovate, but some of the UK’s leading firms have referred clients to CrowdJustice and some of the UK’s leading public law barristers have championed our work.
These lawyers have embraced CrowdJustice because it gives them the opportunity to take cases for less well-off clients, or for matters of public interest, which often wouldn’t otherwise be able to get off the ground. It can also help lawyers get paid a fair rate for their work – many cases on the platform have raised tens of thousands of pounds.
What has also become apparent as we’ve seen more claimants successfully
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