The DC Bar Foundation is the leading private funder of civil legal aid in the District of Columbia. It is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. DCBF’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia.
The Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was established in 1977 to provide a vehicle for lawyers and law firms to contribute to legal services organizations in the District of Columbia. In 1985, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals established the District’s IOLTA program, which the Foundation administers. In 2006, the Council of the District of Columbia appropriated funds for civil legal services grants and a poverty lawyer loan repayment assistance program, designating the DC Bar Foundation as administrator.
The Bar Foundation awards grants to the District’s legal services organizations that provide free civil legal services to low-income and underserved people in the District. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $40 million in grants.