ALASKA BAR FOUNDATION
The Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association established the Alaska Bar Foundation as a not for profit corporation in accordance with the laws of the State of Alaska in October 1972. The Alaska Bar Foundation strives to foster and maintain the honor and integrity of the profession of the law.
The Foundation is governed by seven trustees. The Foundation administers the IOLTA program, in accordance with rules established by the Supreme Court of the State of Alaska.
ALASKA IOLTA PROGRAM
(Interest On Lawyer Trust Accounts)
The Alaska Supreme Court established the IOLTA program in 1986, and it is administered by the Alaska Bar Foundation (ABF) Board of Trustees.
Attorneys routinely receive client funds, securities or other properties to be held in trust for future use. If the trust amount is larger or if it will be held for a long period of time, the attorney has a fiduciary obligation to place these trust properties in an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the client. However, in the case of trust properties that are small or are to be held for a short period of time, it is impractical to establish separate interest-bearing accounts for individual clients.
By joining IOLTA, however, attorneys’ unsegregated trust accounts can generate interest income, which is sent to the Alaska Bar Foundation to be used for grants to programs that provide civil legal services to the poor.
The purpose of the Alaska IOLTA program is to provide funds for civil legal services to the economically disadvantaged. ABF uses the income generated by the IOLTA program to make grants to non-profit providers of legal services throughout the state.
The IOLTA program is important in Alaska because government budget cuts have drastically eroded the funds available for civil legal services for the economically disadvantaged.