It is ethical to crowdfund new law firms and their websites, NYSBA opines

On June 29, 2015, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) released Opinion 1062, allowing law firms to engage in certain types of crowdfunding.

Several law school graduates, who planned to start a small firm asked the NYSBA if it was ethically permissible to raise start-up funds via internet websites through “crowdfunding” to cover start-up expenses, such as rent, website development, and professional liability insurance.

According to Opinion 1062, law firms are generally subjected to limitations in the types of crowdfunding they can use. Fundraising that would give investors an interest in the firm or in its revenues is prohibited. However, in some circumstances a law firm may give the funding source some kind of reward, for example by providing pro bono legal advice.

For more information on NYSBA Opinion 1062, see here

For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal

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