The DC Bar Foundation is the leading funder of civil legal aid in the District of Columbia. We are committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. Our mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of people who are financially disenfranchised or who are otherwise underserved 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 $80 million in grants.
You can learn more about the Foundation by reading our 2021 Annual Report.