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IOLTA Grant Philosophy
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Note: new categories have been added in 2015. Scroll down to view the new categories marked "NEW".

IOLTA grant applications are accepted from Kansas nonprofit organizations or programs that provide the following:

Civil Legal Services

The Foundation has committed itself to assisting with improving the access to the legal system for all Kansans. One of the key methods of accomplishing this objective is by providing grants to civil legal service programs that provide services to low‑income citizens. In the past, these grants have concentrated on such high impact clients as victims of domestic violence, the elderly, and children. Funds are made available to assist with administering local and state bar pro bono legal services programs, reduced fee programs and to provide technical support for legal service staff.

Law‑Related Education (LRE)

The second largest category receiving IOLTA funds has been law‑related education projects for the public. A variety of public education seminars on the Constitution have received funding. These seminars have been one-day to day-and-a-half programs developed for secondary school social studies teachers. Funds were also granted to assist with the Close‑Up project, Citizen Bee programs, the LRE Clearinghouse, the Law Wise newsletter, the statewide Mock Trial competition, and legal rights and responsibilities booklets.

Access to the Civil Justice System for Low Income Residents

The Kansas Bar Foundation has received a direct grant of residual funds from a class action lawsuit. These funds are to be used to "support activities and programs that promote access to the civil justice system for low income residents" in the state of Kansas. These funds are available to civil legal service programs that provide services to the low income and other programs that relate directly to promoting and facilitating access to the civil justice system of the low income through education or other means.

Administration of Justice

The Foundation will consider grants to improve the administration of justice in Kansas. Generally, this area has covered such concerns as alternative procedures for the resolution of disputes, promotion and support for programs facilitating access to the legal system, and improvements in the court system. Programs that have previously received funds have been:

  • Project Early Dispute Settlement (Olathe) and the Neighborhood Justice Center (Wichita Bar Association) which use volunteer mediators to resolve minor disputes between people with ongoing relationships;
  • The Topeka, Johnson County, and Hays CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) programs and the Kansas Association of CASA Programs have received funds to support their programs of using volunteers in the juvenile justice system. The Foundation has encouraged one combined grant from all the CASA programs.
  • There have been other grants approved for innovative one-time projects aimed at reducing juvenile crime or experimenting with diversion efforts. Other grants have been used to establish peer mediation or teen courts in Kansas schools and courts.

Foreclosure Prevention Legal Assistance

The Kansas Bar Foundation has received funds from a Bank of America settlement. These funds are to go to legal service organizations and used for things like assistance to homeowners with notification of being in arrearage, assistance to homeowners who fell behind and were threatened with court action or received notice of foreclosure; matters in which a loan modification was sought or obtained, including through foreclosure mitigation programs; legal assistance with servicer violations resulting in foreclosure notice; negotiation of retention programs, including forbearance plans, reinstatement quotes, and repayment plans; transitional options, including traditional short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure and cash for keys; escalation, mediation, litigation and appeal of servicer violations, loan modification denials, and foreclosure.

Community Redevelopment Legal Assistance

The Kansas Bar Foundation has received funds from a Bank of America settlement. These funds are to go to legal service organizations and used for things like support to non-profits or small businesses on projects or program that generate affordable housing or job creation.

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