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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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

1. What activities do IOLTA grants support?

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.

2. What activities are prohibited?

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.

3. How do I apply for an IOLTA grant?

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.

4. When are status reports due?

Due dates vary by grant program. Please reference Attachment “A” of your grant agreement for due dates.

7. May I request an extension for submission of my organization’s audit?

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.

8. How is the IOLTA Board’s grant funding allocated?

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.

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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.

Become A Platinum
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.

Donate or Volunteer »

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

Class Action Residuals Toolkit »