Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA)

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Chief Justice and PA Bar President Encourage Pennsylvania Lawyers to Support Access to Justice

PLAN, Inc. applauds Pennsylvania’s Chief Justice, Ronald Castille, for his public plea today to Pennsylvania’s lawyers, encouraging them to support civil legal aid programs by handling pro bono cases for those unable to afford legal representation and by making financial contributions to the legal aid programs that represent low income clients. We also applaud PBA President Forrest Myers for joining with the Chief Justice in making this plea.

The Chief Justice points out that today, only about one in ten low income individuals in need of civil legal aid are able to be represented through legal aid programs and through the pro bono efforts of Pennsylvania attorneys.

Chief justice: $4 million distribution will help fund civil legal services to low income Pennsylvanians

The following was released today for immediate publication by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts:

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille said today that rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 2012 are again paying big dividends in helping provide legal services for low income Pennsylvanians.

A civil procedure rule that took effect July 1, 2012, directed how money left over from lawsuits after the plaintiffs, attorney fees and expenses have been paid is to be distributed.

PA Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Public Hearing on Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee held a Public Hearing entitled, Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent: Have We Achieved Equal Access to Justice? on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 8E-B in the East Wing of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery, Bucks) chaired the hearing.

The purpose of the public hearing was to explore and create awareness of the current state and scope of the unmet need for civil legal services by low-income Pennsylvanians confronting legal problems involving basic human needs.

Statewide Loan Repayment Assistance Program Ready for Third Year; Application Deadline: October 15, 2012

The Statewide Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation (PBF) and the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts Board (IOLTA), is ready for its third year of providing assistance to legal aid attorneys.

Qualifying legal aid attorneys have until October 15, 2012, to submit applications and accompanying certification letters for the next cycle of the statewide loan repayment assistance program (LRAP).

Chief Justice Welcomes Independent Recommendation to Continue Legal Aid Funding

From Sam Milkes on the PLAN blog:

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has published  a News Release stating that Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille today praised the PA Legal Aid Network for the positive performance audit received from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee yesterday on its oversight of Access to Justice funds.

He also strongly agreed with the audit’s finding that the funding sources for legal aid for the state’s most vulnerable citizens – those who don’t have the financial means to access the courts – should be made permanent.

Click on the title above to read the full blog entry and News Release.

 

Chief Justice Welcomes Independent Recommendation to Continue Legal Aid Funding

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille today praised the PA Legal Aid Network for the positive performance audit received from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee yesterday on its oversight of Access to Justice funds. He also strongly agreed with the audit’s finding that the funding sources for legal aid for the state’s most vulnerable citizens – those who don’t have the financial means to access the courts – should be made permanent.

In 2002, the legislature passed the Access to Justice Act imposing a $10 fee on filings in state courts with $2 of that fee dedicated to direct funding of civil legal service organizations. That law is scheduled to expire in November 2012 unless reauthorized by the General Assembly.

Another temporary surcharge of $1 on filing fees that goes to fund legal services is slated to expire in January 2012. The LBFC report recommends the General Assembly consider making both fees a permanent source of funds for the legal aid program.

"Civil Legal Aid In Pennsylvania" Published in Attorney E-Newsletter of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Below is the article that was published in the February 2011 Attorney E-Newsletter of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania:

Civil Legal Aid In Pennsylvania

By Sam Milkes, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc., and Alfred Azen, Executive Director, Pennsylvania IOLTA Board

Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Legal Aid Attorneys Announced by Pennsylvania Supreme Cout

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has announced a student loan forgiveness program for attorneys employed by agencies that help people who cannot afford legal representation.

Application Period Opens Sept. 1 for Statewide Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The application period for the PA IOLTA Loan Repayment Assistance Programs will open on September 1, 2016. Lawyers employed by the IOLTA-funded civil legal services organizations providing free legal services to low-income Pennsylvanians have from September 1 through October 17 to apply for student loan repayment assistance from Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), which is administered by the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (PA IOLTA) Board and the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.

Supreme Court Increases Loan Assistance for Attorneys Who Serve the Poor

In an effort to increase the pool of attorneys available to provide civil legal services to those who cannot afford them, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has increased support for a student debt loan program for attorneys who work for legal aid organizations. The increased funiding for loan assistance will come from an increase in the fees charged out-of-state lawyers to practice in Pennsylvania courts. 

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