Bar News - May 18, 2007
Bar Foundation News
Lawyers’ IOLTA Program Continues to Fund Critical Services
NH Bar Foundation Awards $1.73 Million in Grants
“I am pleased to announce that the New Hampshire Bar Foundation directors voted to approve $1,730,000 in Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) grant awards to 12 organizations for fiscal year 2008,” reports David G. Snyder, executive director. “This significant investment will benefit New Hampshire communities statewide.”
Established in 1982 by NH Supreme Court Rule 50, the IOLTA Grants Program is funded by a unique partnership between attorneys and the banking community where banks pay interest on certain lawyer trust accounts that normally would not earn interest. The revenue is forwarded to the New Hampshire Bar Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations or programs that provide civil legal assistance to New Hampshire’s most disadvantaged populations and programs that provide law-related education for students and the general public.
Grants were awarded to:
New Hampshire Legal Assistance—$1,140,000
General operating funds to help NHLA serve low-income and elderly people across New Hampshire. NHLA focuses on the most urgent civil legal problems the client community faces, including shelter, subsistence income, access to healthcare, and protection from family violence.
New Hampshire Pro Bono Referral System—$210,000
Pro Bono addresses the need for civil legal services for low-income people on matters involving basic life needs, including preservation of income and housing, family safety and stability, the best interest of children in divorce and parenting cases. Grant funds support operations of the volunteer lawyers program.
NH Bar Foundation Law School Loan Assistance Program—$90,000
To provide loan assistance for eligible staff attorneys working for nonprofit legal assistance programs, including NH Legal Assistance, Legal Advice and Referral Center, NH Bar Association Pro Bono Referral Program, and the Disabilities Rights Center.
Legal Advice & Referral Center—$60,000
To help fund LARC as they address a portion of the need for legal services by providing individualized information, advice, referral for representation, and pro se assistance to low-income callers whose legal problems involve family, housing, public benefits, and limited areas of consumer law.
Franklin Pierce Civil Practice Clinic—$56,000
To help fund the law school practice clinic that provides direct representation of indigent clients in a variety of civil legal matters while training law students to handle the legal needs of indigent and under-represented clients.
New Hampshire Bar Association Law-Related Education Program—$50,000
The grant is for program development during the 2007-2008 fiscal year, in addition to funding ongoing LRE efforts such as A Lawyer and Judge in Every School. This development work will lay the foundation for future LRE programming.
NH Bar Association Reduced-Fee Referral Service—$36,000
To help fund the program that provides those with some limited capacity to pay for civil legal assistance with attorneys willing to work for a reduced-fee. The program refers callers to additional sources and provides legal information.
International Institute of NH—$25,000
To help fund a staff attorney to provide assistance and representation to NH refugees, including assistance with documentation for victims of domestic abuse; the naturalization process; and achieving asylee status to escape from persecution and trauma.
NH Pro Bono Referral Program Domestic Violence Emergency Project (DOVE)—$23,546
DOVE provides free, expedited legal representation for low-income victims of domestic violence. Funds provided for key operating expenses, in addition to public and attorney education efforts.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA NH)—$20,000
To help fund the staff attorney who provides direct legal services to child victims and law-related education for staff and 400 guardian ad litem volunteers, in addition to coordinating cooperative efforts with law firms that provide pro bono legal services to supplement statewide accessibility.
Disabilities Rights Center—$14,545
To help fund an attorney to represent individuals with a range of disabilities including cognitive, mental, sensory, and physical disabilities. DRC protects individuals with disabilities from abuse or neglect and advocates for basic rights to ensure accountability in healthcare, education, employment, housing and transportation.
The Support Center at Burch House—$5,000
Fund will help pay attorney fees for legal representation of victims of domestic and sexual violence who will assist with protective order hearings and ongoing legal issues such as divorce and child custody, when attorneys are not available through other programs.