How Court Buddy Promotes Social Justice And How You Can Help
Patty Lamberti Program Director
In late May, protests erupted across the country in response to the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade.
So many Americans have joined the fight against the mistreatment of Black Americans by law enforcement and the legal system. Active alliances have formed across racial and socio-economic lines, and from diverse industries including tech.
We hope that you take a moment to learn more about how Court Buddy is trying to build a society in which everyone has equal access to wealth, opportunities, legal rights and privileges.
We’ve also listed some ways you can get involved and work for social justice – either in person or virtually.
What Court Buddy Does
We founded Court Buddy to close the Access-to-Justice gap, the space between those who need legal help and who work with lawyers.
Our goal is to help those who can’t afford to pay a lawyer traditional rates in traditional law firm settings. On average, lawyers charge upfront retainers in the thousands and hourly fees ranging from $250 and $550, depending on how much experience they have, who their clients are, and the specific case they are working on.
Our research has found that 80% of those in poverty, and approximately 65% of modest and moderate-income Americans, receive inadequate civil legal assistance.
In more than 75% of all civil trial cases in the United States, at least one litigant does not have an attorney representing them. Judges struggle to dispense “justice” when confronted with crowded dockets and unrepresented parties.
More than 80% of criminal defendants say they cannot afford a private attorney, straining the capacity of the criminal justice system to provide them an effective attorney in keeping with their constitutional rights.
We have found a way to change things. Court Buddy makes finding a top, experienced lawyer easy and affordable. We also help manage the cases and support our clients throughout the process.
Over 10,000 lawyers have committed to using our online platform. All of them provide legal help to people for affordable, upfront, flat fees that start at $299.
Having an attorney in court is invaluable. 90% of tenants try to go without an attorney when they have a dispute with their landlord, and they usually lose. However, one study found that when tenants go to court with a lawyer to fight eviction, they win or settle their cases 96% of the time.
The take-home message? The assistance of an attorney can make a huge difference in a legal situation.
Tips on How You Can Help Work for Social Justice
If, like us, you have grown tired of watching brutal and unjust systems wreck the promise of our democracy, we have some ideas about how you can help:
- Tell others what we do. Perhaps they – or those they know – could use affordable legal services.
- Protest, peacefully and safely. Think about whether you’re an ally or an activist and act on your beliefs.
- Challenge those in your personal and professional circles when they promote racist attitudes or behaviors (whether they do so consciously or unconsciously).
- Perform an internet search for “ways to end racism.” Chances are, you’ll quickly find a way to pitch in, whether that means helping a local business clean up after looting or buying goods from Black-owned businesses.
Social Justice Organizations to Consider Supporting Right Now
Unfortunately, there is still no way to prevent or treat the Coronavirus.
We realize that staying at home and staying safe from Covid-19 is important – and in many cases, required – for a large number of people who want to help.
That’s OK. You can still make a difference from home. Here are some ideas:
- Use digital tools, like social media and email, to raise awareness and pass along information.
- Write elected officials and others in power, demanding they do something actionable and measurable to fix broken systems.
- Consider supporting, financially or through virtual volunteering, the following organizations with social justice missions.