Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Board Helping to Secure Equal Access to Justice
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a topic below to view frequently asked questions on that subject.
The IOLTA Board makes annual grants to legal aid providers and the nine Pennsylvania law schools. Grant applications are submitted through a web-based grants management system. If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions below, please contact Jim Swoyer, IOLTA’s Grants Manager, by email at James.Swoyer@pacourts.us.
Grants to legal services organizations support the provision of civil legal assistance to low-income Pennsylvanians without charge.
Grants to Pennsylvania’s law schools support clinical legal education programs as well as externship and internship opportunities where students provide legal assistance under the supervision of their professors to low-income Pennsylvanians without charge.
A grant to the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation supports the administration of a Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which benefits attorneys employed at IOLTA-funded legal services organizations.
Generally speaking, grantees may not engage in the following activities with IOLTA Board funding: fee-generating cases, defense of criminal prosecutions, actions attacking criminal convictions, political activities, capital expenditures, lobbying, and abortion-related representation. For more information, visit our Grant Policies page.
First, please visit our Grant Eligibility & Applications page to learn about eligibility requirements. Grant applications for legal services organizations open in mid-November for funding for the following fiscal year. Grant applications remain open for about 5 weeks.
Due dates vary by grant program. Please reference Attachment “A” of your grant agreement for due dates.
Budget modification requests are due by May 31st of the grant year.
Legal services organizations must submit audited financial statements for the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year no later than October 15th.
Extensions will not be granted. If your audit is not timely filed, you may provide an explanation which will be shared with the Board during grant deliberations.
Funds that support grants to legal services organizations are distributed based on the geographical proportion of people living in poverty (125% below the federal poverty level) according to the most recent U.S. Census. This method ensures that funds are distributed fairly and supports services where poor people reside.