Kansas Bar Foundation awards more than $100,000 in grants and scholarships
Friday, December 6, 2013
Posted by: Beth Warrington
The Kansas Bar Foundation is proud to announce the 2014 foundation grant and scholarship recipients. The KBF has committed itself to the assistance of improving the legal system for all Kansans. One of the key methods of accomplishing this objective is by providing grants to civil legal service programs. In the past, these grants have concentrated on such high-impact clients as victims of domestic violence, the elderly and children. In addition, the foundation awards scholarships to law students and provides funding for law related educational programs.
The KBF receives private donations and funding from the Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program. The IOLTA program collects the interest from lawyers’ client trust accounts, which, prior to the creation of the IOLTA program in 1984, were held in noninterest‑bearing accounts. When a number of these small- or short-term funds are pooled together, they can produce significant amounts of revenue for law‑related charitable public service projects.
Participation in the IOLTA program is voluntary on the part of both Kansas lawyers and financial institutions. Historically, the foundation has allocated approximately 80 percent or more of IOLTA funds to the provision of civil legal services to low-income citizens.
In 2012, the foundation received funding from a direct grant of residual funds from a class action lawsuit. These funds support activities and programs that promote access to the civil justice system for low-income residents and to programs that relate directly to promoting and facilitating access to the civil justice system through education or other means.
In 2014, the foundation will award more than $100,000 to support six IOLTA grants, five residual fund grants and seven scholarships.
Foundation President Kathy Kirk said, "We are so pleased this year to be able to give significantly more money to Kansas communities than we have for several years. Supporting legal initiatives through the foundation is one of the primary ways Kansas lawyers give back and compound their giving ability.”
2014 IOLTA Grants
Kansas Legal Services Inc. – $43,139
To provide advice and representation for low income persons in Kansas for general legal, family law, consumer and housing issues and for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
CASA of Kansas – $8,000
To fund volunteer supervision staff positions. Staff positions recruit, screen, train and supervise CASA volunteers so that they may serve child in need of care cases.
National Institute for Trial Advocacy – $8,776.50
To fund "Advocacy Skills Training,” a three-day workshop that will focus on the needs of specialized public service attorneys and serve practitioners who cannot travel to larger program destinations due to time and budget constraints.
KBA Young Lawyer Section Mock Trial Program – $5,000
To advance the educational goals of students and the broader understanding of and respect for the law through structured and fairly administered mock-trials.
YWCA Crisis Center-Wichita – $2,084
To fund three free legal clinics for survivors of domestic violence, as well as support for the volunteer training program.
Western Professionals/Immigration Professionals – $5,000
To offer a reduced fee program to indigent migrants who qualify for either Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or a U-visa. The program will cover all of the individual’s attorney fees, assuming they meet all the qualifications.
2014 Class Action Residual Fund Grants
KBA Law-Related Education Committee – $10,000
To coordinate programs that focus on providing Kansas residents with free resources and information about law related matters of interest to educators, students and the public.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas – $2,000
To provide pro bono services to refugees resettled by the Catholic Charities’ Refugee and Migrant Services Program and individuals from the community at large who are predominantly Hispanic.
Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence – $3,000
To host two days of training. One day is for Kansas attorneys and the other for advocates. The training will focus on domestic violence and sexual assault and how these issues affect custody decisions.
Douglas County Legal Aid – $10,000
To provide no-cost legal services to residents of Douglas County who are financially disadvantaged.
University of Kansas School of Law-Pro Bono Project – $5,570
To develop a program that will match Kansas citizens seeking pro bono legal aid with licensed Kansas attorneys willing to provide such aid. The program will have separate sections for clients who are military veterans and law enforcement officers.
$1,000 KBF Scholarships
Case, Moses, & Zimmerman P.A. Law Student Scholarship
This scholarship is intended to go to a second-year law student at a Kansas law school or Creighton University School of Law. The 2014 recipient is Richard W. Smith, Washburn University School of Law.
The Justice Alex M. Fromme Memorial Scholarship Award
The award is intended for a law student attending the University of Kansas Law School or Washburn University Law School who is committed to practicing law in Kansas. The 2014 recipient is Katherine E. Marples, University of Kansas School of Law.
Maxine S. Thompson Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship promotes the practice of law in the state of Kansas by awarding a law student, originally from Kansas and attending the University of Kansas School of Law or Washburn University School of Law an annual scholarship. The award recipient must have completed no less than 60 hours toward a law degree and must plan to practice in a rural Kansas area, preferably western Kansas. The 2014 recipient is Christopher A. Rohr, Washburn University School of Law.
The John E. Shamberg Memorial Law Student Scholarship
This scholarship is for a Washburn University School of Law student who has an interest in plaintiff’s work as well as a bona fide intention to practice law in Kansas. The 2014 recipient is Kurtis K. Wiard, Washburn University School of Law.
Hinkle Elkouri Scholarship Award
This scholarship is intended for a law student at the University of Kansas School of Law or Washburn University School of Law. Applicants should demonstrate a bona fide intention to practice law in Kansas. Because community service is extremely important to the Hinkle Elkouri law firm, applicants must also demonstrate a history of community involvement to be considered. The 2014 recipient is Kayla Lynn Roehler, Washburn University School of Law.
Lathrop & Gage Scholarship Award
This scholarship is given to a law student at the University of Kansas School of Law or Washburn University School of Law. Applicants should demonstrate a bona fide intention to practice law in Kansas. Applicants must demonstrate a history of community involvement to be considered. The 2014 recipient is Thomas Hiatt, University of Kansas School of Law.
Frank Norton Scholarship Award
This scholarship is available exclusively to Washburn University School of Law students in their second or third year of study who are not receiving any other scholarship support. The 2014 recipient is Aaron Othmer, Washburn University School of Law.