The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) recently awarded $2.15 million in grants through its annual Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Grants Program. This year's grants will fund 89 programs conducted by 62 nonprofit organizations throughout Massachusetts.
These grants support projects that either offer civil legal services to people who cannot otherwise afford them or improve the administration of justice in the commonwealth. Grants providing direct legal services include support to domestic violence programs, special education advocacy, humanitarian immigration assistance, and homelessness prevention. Grants to improve the administration of justice include such efforts as court-connected mediation and lawyer-of-the-day programs.
Funds for these grants are provided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Interest on Lawyer's Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program. The Massachusetts Bar Foundation is one of three charitable entities in Massachusetts that distributes IOLTA funds.
As a result of the economic downtown, available funds for IOLTA grants have declined by over 75% over the last several years. Trustees of the Foundation voted, as they have for the past five years, to draw money from MBF reserve funds to help to fund the awards.
Additional information about the MBF IOLTA Grants Program, as well as a complete listing of the 2013/2014 IOLTA grant recipients is available here.