IOLTA Grant Philosophy

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.

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.