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P.O. Box 62446
Harrisburg, PA 17107-2445

Tel. 717-238-2001
Toll Free 888-PA-IOLTA (724-6582)
Fax. 717-238-2003

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Apply for an Exemption


If your full-time employment is such that you do not receive Rule 1.15 Funds, you are automatically excluded from the requirement to maintain a Pennsylvania IOLTA Account. Examples include full time employment in a corporate capacity, by local, state or federal government, as a law clerk, professor, or as a member of the judiciary. 204 Pa. Code 81.109(a).

If you do not receive Rule 1.15 Qualified Funds as the result of the practice of law in the Commonwealth, and you are not otherwise required to maintain Rule 1.15 Funds in a Trust Account in the Commonwealth, you are automatically excluded from the requirement to maintain a Pennsylvania IOLTA Account. 204 Pa. Code 81.109(a).

If you are retired or no longer practicing law, you are automatically excluded from the requirement to maintain a Pennsylvania IOLTA Account. 204 Pa. Code 81.109(a).


Exemptions are not automatic. If you believe you qualify, you must apply for an exemption from the IOLTA Board. Exemptions are valid for three years. 204 Pa. Code 81.109(e).

If an exemption is granted, all Qualified Funds handled by the attorney must be deposited in a non-interest bearing Trust Account. Pa.R.P.C. 1.15(n).

Exemption categories:

  • Low balance
    If the average daily balance of your current IOLTA account, as measured over twelve months, is less than $5,000, you may request an exemption.
  • Bank service charges routinely exceed the income
    If the bank service charges assessed on your current IOLTA account routinely exceed the interest earned, you may request an exemption.
  • Extreme Impracticality
    See 204 Pa. Code 81.109(d)(iii).
  • Other compelling and necessitous reasons
    See 204 Pa. Code 81.109(d)(iv).

How Do I Apply for an Exemption?

Send a written request to the IOLTA Board’s executive director. Identify the exemption category for which you are applying and explain why you qualify. For a low balance exemption or excessive service charges exemption, you must include bank statements for your current IOLTA Account from the last twelve months.

Pro Hac Vice

Out-of-state attorneys seeking to enter their appearance on a Pennsylvania case must pay an admission fee of $375 per case to the IOLTA Board prior to filing the motion with the court. Complete your pro hac vice application online and pay the $375 fee by check or credit card.

Pro Hac Vice Admission Fee
Payment Form »

Platinum Leader Banks

Platinum Leader Banks are financial institutions that go above and beyond eligibility requirements to ensure the success of the IOLTA program and increase funding for legal aid. Pennsylvania attorneys are encouraged to patronize them.

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Leader Bank »

Support Us

There is one legal aid lawyer for every 6,415 people living in poverty. Pro bono representation by private attorneys is an enormously valuable supplement to the services of civil legal aid programs.

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Direct Class Action Residual funds and Cy Pres awards to the PA IOLTA Board!

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