The IOLA Fund (IOLA) supports a variety of programs to ensure the delivery of a full range of civil legal services to low income New Yorkers through a comprehensive, well-coordinated statewide system. Such programs include, but are not limited to: Staff attorney programs, pro bono programs, specialized legal services programs, multi-service programs, alternative dispute resolution programs and support and technical assistance programs for the legal services delivery system.
To accomplish its mission, the IOLA Fund administers two grant programs:
1. Civil Legal Services (CLS) Grant Program
The Civil Legal Services Program funds organizations that provide direct civil legal services in multiple areas of poverty law (for example, housing, family, public benefits) to poor persons residing in a particular geographic areas. Legal services are provided free of charge. The most common categories of cases handled by CLS programs are family, housing, income maintenance, consumer, health and employment. CLS grant awards are for general operating support.
By statute, the Fund allocates no less than 75% of its total annual funding to the CLS grant program and bases those awards on the poverty population according to the latest available figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
2. Administration of Justice (AOJ) Grant Program
Awards are made to providers of legal services to underserved groups and other groups with special needs. In addition to legal services, the AOJ awards support training, program innovations, alternative dispute resolution programs, volunteer lawyer programs and technology improvements to enhance service delivery. The Program funds organizations that fall in one of the following four categories: The organization provides legal services principally through the pro bono model; the organization provides direct civil legal services to a particular demographic group such as domestic violence victims, the disabled, the elderly, homeless persons, immigrants and others; the organization provides training, technical assistance or other supportive services to civil legal services providers; the organization provides legal or support services through the innovative use of technology.
The IOLA Fund generally gives priority to programs that already receive IOLA grant funds. However, the Trustees encourage applications from other programs engaged in the provision of civil legal services if the need, client population, or geographic area that it serves is not addressed by existing programs. The Trustees also encourage applications from innovative programs that help expand access to equal justice for poor persons.
Estimated Total Program Funding: