Business Lawyering in the Crowdfunding Era

35 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2014 Last revised: 11 Jun 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 31, 2013


The advent of crowdfunding (and crowdfund investing, in particular) has put strain on business lawyering. This paper identifies and comments on professional responsibility and professionalism issues in the current rapidly changing business finance and regulatory environment -- an environment in which crowdfunded businesses and projects have become a reality. Traps for the unwary exist in a number of areas ranging from the unlicensed practice of law, through matters of competence and diligence, to compliance with a lawyer's public duties. By appreciating these issues and being attentive to these observations, legal counsel should be better able to engage in productive, valued, ethical lawyering in the crowdfunding era and beyond.

Keywords: crowdfunding, securities, investing, lawyering, professional responsibility, professionalism, model rules, unauthorized practice, competence, diligence

JEL Classification: K20, K22, K23, K30, K40, M10, M13

Suggested Citation

Heminway, Joan MacLeod, Business Lawyering in the Crowdfunding Era (December 31, 2013). 3 Am. U.B.L.R. 149 (2014); University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 241. Available at SSRN:

Joan MacLeod Heminway (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-3813 (Phone)
865-974-0681 (Fax)

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