Programs: Court fees grants-in-aid and judicial branch grant for civil legal representation. See schedule 0. In an effort to replace drastically reduced iolta/iota revenue, the connecticut state legislature passed certain court fee increases effective july 1, 2009, july 1, 2012, july 1, 2014 and july 1, 2016. Under the court fees grants-in-aid program, the judicial branch transfers the revenue from the fee increases to the cbf, which distributes the funds pursuant to section 51-81c of the connecticut general statutes to current iolta/iota grantees for the purpose of funding the delivery of legal services to connecticut's low-income population. Legislation enacted in 2016 added the client security fund as a potential new funding source.
the interest on lawyers' trust accounts (iolta) and interest on trust accounts (iota). See schedule o. The interest on lawyers' trust accounts (iolta) and interest on trust accounts (iota) program funds legal services to the poor and law school scholarships based on financial need. The program funded eleven non-profit organizations providing legal services to the poor, and grants for law school scholarships to the three connecticut law schools. The foundation's efforts help thousands of low-income residents of connecticut by enabling them to obtain critical legal information, advice, and legal representation. One of the innovative ways the cbf accomplishes this is by helping to fund the ctlawhelp. Org website where low income people can find assistance with their legal needs and tools for self representation. The foundation helps the most vulnerable members of our community, including children who are abused, neglected and otherwise disadvantaged, disabled people, elderly victims of consumer fraud and other abuse, immigrants, many of them children, low-income families trying to protect their right to safe housing and fight unlawful evictions, and those victimized by domestic violence.
the james w. Cooper fellows program. See schedule o. The james w. Cooper fellows program was founded to promote a better understanding of the legal profession and the judicial system among the citizens of connecticut. In 2017, the fellows program sponsored: a truancy intervention project; eight roundtable discussions where issues involving the practice of law were discussed; the 10th john a. Speziale adr symposium on environmental and land use dispute resolution in connecticut; one symposium on diversity issues; the 3rd mark r. Kravitz symposium on the societal value of litigation. Photographing the judges for the history of connecticut women in the legal profession project and interviewing connecticut women attorneys and judges continued as did fundraising efforts and making plans for a reception in 2018. The fellows continued the connecticut innocence fund project to assist exonerees who have been recently freed from prison based on proof of actual innocence. The seventeenth annual essay contest for high schools students was held with a record 116 essays submitted from 53 schools. The essays were judged by over 150 attorneys, judges, and law school professors. The fellows participated in a new program, the hartford promise, an organization that mentors and provides scholarships to hartford students who meet specific criteria. Approximately 20 fellows volunteered for training to become mentors in the project. Also in 2017, the fellows partnered with the herbert and nell singer foundation to administer the singer connecticut public service fellowship program. The singer fellowship program was established in 2017 for the purpose of offering opportunities to recent law school graduates to gain practical experience working for connecticut civil legal aid organizations which provide legal services to the underserved population of connecticut. Six fellows helped to organize the program and will serve as members of the selection committee. The foundation sponsors programs for the legal community and the public. These programs are made possible by the generosity and commitment of hundreds of volunteers and supporters.