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Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA)

The Boston Bar Foundation is one of three distributors of Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) funds in Massachusetts. Through the IOLTA grants process, the BBF has gained unique expertise in the legal services community for how to address the unmet legal needs of underserved Massachusetts residents.

The Supreme Judicial Court requires lawyers and law firms to establish interest-bearing accounts for client funds held for a short period of time. Interest on these accounts is then forwarded to the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee.

The Massachusetts IOLTA Committee then distributes the funds to the BBF, Massachusetts Bar Foundation and Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. IOLTA funds must be used to provide civil legal services to low-income clients or improve the administration of justice.

The Massachusetts IOLTA Committee publishes information on banks and credit unions that are recognized as “Leadership Institutions" for paying 1.00% on IOLTA funds. To see the current list of Leadership Institutions click here

Our Core Funding Objectives

The BBF looks for applications from eligible Massachusetts nonprofits for projects that:

  • Provide civil legal services to low-income people and/or underserved populations, especially organizations and programs that address an unmet legal need.
  • Develop or strengthen pro bono programs through which the private bar delivers substantial voluntary legal services to low-income and underserved populations.
  • Demonstrably enhance the administration of justice in Massachusetts (i.e. improve the courts' effectiveness, address systemic problems in the court system or provide information to low-income, underserved or special needs populations regarding their legal rights and/or accessibility to the courts).

For questions on applying for IOLTA funds through the BBF, please contact Cara Forcellati, Director of Finance & Administration, at cforcellati@bostonbar.org or 617-778-1958.


Deadlines and Dates

Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Grant (FY 2016)
For Funding Period: Sept. 1, 2016 - Aug. 31, 2017

Mid-Year Progress Report - due March 17, 2017
Year-End Report - due September 15, 2017
New IOLTA Application - due February 24, 2017

Bank of America Settlement
For Funding Period: Jan. 1, 2017 - Dec. 31, 2018

Mid-Year Progress Report - July 24, 2017
Year-End Report - February 2, 2018
2nd Mid-Year Progress Report - July 23, 2018
2nd Year-End Report - February 8, 2019