The September NCBF Member Spotlight shines on the New Hampshire Bar Foundation!
The New Hampshire Bar Foundation promotes the role of lawyers in securing equal access to justice and supports the charitable and educational aims of the New Hampshire Bar and its members. New Hampshire Bar Foundation funding reaches deep into communities statewide to assist with educational programs, direct legal services, and charitable projects aimed at meeting the law-related needs of the public and the profession.
By funding legal aid organizations, more than 25,000 residents receive free or low-cost civil legal services every year in New Hampshire. The Bar Foundation’s justice-related philanthropy addresses core issues involved in providing meaningful access to justice, including:
- Protection of Legal Rights: Legal advice and representation for disadvantaged residents struggling to overcome poverty, abuse, and discrimination.
- Education: Civic and constitutional education for students; training programs for attorneys offeringpro bono (free) civil legal services; public seminars on fair housing laws and other protections for the elderly, the homeless, low-income populations, and social service agency staff; and multilingual programs for immigrants and refugees regarding their rights and responsibilities.
- Emerging Needs: The Bar Foundation facilitates the identification of justice-related issues regarding emerging civil legal needs in our state, paying close attention to changing demographics, the economy, and the legal struggles facing different population groups. The Bar Foundation is involved in evaluating and identifying new approaches in the delivery of civil legal aid and education to help ensure New Hampshire residents will have access to critical legal services.
- Resource Development and Management: The Bar Foundation initiates and builds relationships with the legal community and banks supporting the IOLTA Grants Program; promotes contributions to the Bar Foundation’s endowed Justice Funds in support of Justice Grants; provides planned giving opportunities for donors; encourages organizational development and coordination among legal aid agencies; and communicates funding needs to donors and others committed to ensuring meaningful access to the justice system for all New Hampshire residents.
The Bar Foundation makes significant grants in three main areas:
- Legal Advice, Representation, and Advocacy for the Disadvantaged
- Student and Community Education about the Law and the Justice System
- Innovation in the Administration of Justice
Since 1977, the Bar Foundation has made grants totaling more than $32 million dollars through the IOLTA and Justice Grants Programs. The majority of funding supports organizations that provide legal services to low-income people, children, the elderly, victims of domestic violence, and others in New Hampshire who have limited access to, or representation in, the justice system. A smaller, but significant portion of funding supports public education about the law and the courts.
- Justice Grants are funded by distributions from restricted and unrestricted endowed funds. Justice Grants are generally in the $500-$8,000 range. View Justice Society Funds.
- IOLTA Grants are funded by revenue from the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts Program. IOLTA Grants are generally $5,000 or more.
- The Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides funding to help alleviate law school loan debt for lawyers who practice in the public interest at selected New Hampshire nonprofit legal service organizations.
Staff and Leadership
The New Hampshire Bar Foundation is governed by 18 volunteer board of directors, drawn from diverse professions, including attorneys and business leaders committed to ensuring equal access to the justice system for all residents. The New Hampshire Bar Foundation is managed by a staff dedicated to the mission and vision of the organization.