The IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey

 
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25 Years of IOLTA Funding for Access to Justice

25 Years of IOLTA Funding for Access to Justice

Since 1989, the IOLTA Fund has awarded grants of more than $335 million to Legal Services of New Jersey and 134 other non-profit, 501(c) 3 organizations. The grants provide funding for free legal services to low-income people with civil legal problems, improvements in the administration of justice and education about the law.

Grantee organizations serve income eligible families who have been affected by consumer fraud, domestic violence, evictions and foreclosures, or family law problems as well as seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, and homeless youth who cannot advocate for themselves or afford an attorney. Addressing basic needs such as shelter, safety, hunger and health is a priority and grant recipients often work with consumers who have problems obtaining Social Security, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and veteransí benefits. Anyone with difficulty understanding or accessing the justice system and whose income meets the eligibility standard can be served through IOLTA grants.

In 2013, IOLTA grant awards supported nearly 12,500 closed cases handled by 46 small legal aid providers and Legal Services of New Jersey together with its network of six regional programs. Most of those matters involved either advice or a brief service, with only 1,100 cases reaching a court for resolution.

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation receives a share of IOLTAís revenue to carry out its mission of educating the public about the law. Since 1989, $48 million has been awarded for the Foundationís programs and publications for school children, teachers, consumers, television audiences, seniors and legal professionals. IOLTA funds have been used to offer a variety of free educational seminars for the public, Law Day and Court Night programs, mock trial programs for all grade levels, and clinical programs at all three New Jersey law schools.

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