Legal Funding
A New Approach

In a criminal case, the law provides people with an attorney if they can't afford one. That doesn't happen in civil trials.

Divorce, child custody, child support payments and similar civil cases are a large part of the justice system's backbone. In some states circuit court judges hear nearly 650,000 civil cases per year; while at the same time, another 650,000 new civil cases are filed.

Some experts say only about one in six people who need, but do not have the funds to hire an attorney, ever get the help he or she seeks from the various free or low-cost legal services. Many people are instead flooding local courtrooms trying to represent themselves. They almost always lose their cases.

State legislators and state courts have attempted to assist by providing do-it-yourself methods such as the Tennessee DIY Divorce system created by the Tennessee Supreme Court. But you must make sure to read the details, see if you qualify in every respect, and follow the instructions very carefully.

A new method of funding.

With the advent of digital and social networking, now people needing legal help can turn to a new kind of website tailored to help them actually pay for a lawyer.

For example, a specific 'narrow-cast' site called Funded Justice is in operation to assist people in raising funds for their Divorce, Estate and Trust, Juvenile, Child Support and Child Custody cases.

Another site is FundRazr which is very similar to Funded Justice.

Not to be left behind, the largest site in the category,, which claims to have raised over $2 Billion worldwide for people-to-people charitable giving is now accepting individual funding campaigns for civil legal matters.

A smaller, general purpose crowd funding web site is

What you'll need to know.

The idea behind all the above sites is that you will need to give up some privacy by telling people your story and explaining why you are deserving of help. If you require $4,000 it is unlikely you'll find one donor to assist; but if you tell a sincere, accurate, believable story, complete with some pictures and some background information, you may easily find 100 people who contribute $40 each.

The crowd funding organizations need to maintain their web sites, pay employees, and keep the lights on; so they do charge a fee. Expect about 5% of the funds you raise to go to the site, and because most donations will be made by credit card, another 2.5% of the funds you raise will go to credit card companies. Most sites will ask you if you want your campaign to be either 'keep all funds raised' or 'all-or-nothing' campaigns. Remember that what you publish generally becomes the property of the site you employ, and whatever it is you say could come back to haunt you in the legal proceeding you're trying to fund. So always stick to the facts and avoid any false or defamatory statements about other parties in the matter. Read the site's fine print before you ever press the button to activate your funding campaign.

Before you activate your campaign you should have done some other homework. Has anyone reviewed your case to determine if it has real legal merit? If you have any doubts, it's wise to check with a general advice site like, or like other attorneys, we offer low cost initial phone consultations, and the fee is applied to our retainer should you decide to hire us. When you set your fund raising goal, make sure you have accounted for all costs, like court fees and filing fees the courts will charge you. You will also have to reach out to people to make them aware of your funding campaign by using sites like Facebook and Twitter. No matter how good your cause is, nothing will happen until you ask people to visit the funding site and learn about your plight.

Links to Divorce, Alimony, Custody and Asset Division information

Hire an Experienced Memphis Divorce Lawyer

At The Burdette Law Firm we are competent and caring lawyers when dealing with divorce, and will provide excellent legal divorce advice. We give our clients a great deal of information on divorce so they can have the proper understanding of divorce law to make important decisions. Getting divorced is an emotional process and we always strive to ease the stress during this difficult situation. A divorce is also a financial process. The valuations, incomes and sums involved in property division, alimony and support should be carefully reviewed by someone like a Certified Public Accountant to insure accuracy, and to protect you from any attempt to hide assets or income.

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