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Legal Services

The Boston Bar Foundation has a strong history of supporting programs that advance access to legal services, improve fair administration of justice and help expand public understanding of the law. Boston Bar Foundation grant-making revenue comes from three sources: the Massachusetts IOLTA Program, the annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit, and the Boston Bar Foundation’s own funds.

The Boston Bar Foundation Grants Committee reviews grant applications during the annual grant cycle and makes funding recommendations to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Committee members are appointed by the Boston Bar Foundation president and come from all sectors of the legal community (private bar, corporate counsel, legal services, academia). In addition, they have:

  • Substantial involvement in community service and/or pro bono activities
  • Significant knowledge of and commitment to the Greater Boston legal services community

The collective knowledge and individual backgrounds of its members helps the Grants Committee to strategically direct resources and funding to areas and organizations that effectively address the greatest needs. The committee’s focus spans not only unmet current need, but also emerging issues facing low-income individuals in Greater Boston.

For questions on the grants process, please contact Hannah Poor at hpoor@bostonbar.org or 617-778-1938.


*From IOLTA funds, cy pres funds, and proceeds of the John & Abigail Adams Benefit.

The organizations funded by the Boston Bar Foundation have an incredible impact on our community. The below numbers, highlighting the work of our 2017-2018 grantees over the course of the past year, demonstrate the way these organizations annually engage thousands of volunteer lawyers to serve tens of thousands of people in need.

While these numbers serve to illustrate the magnitude of the effect of these grants, they cannot tell the entire story. Behind the numbers are the thousands of people that have received help when they needed it the most, from the one person that could offer that help: a lawyer.


people received help from a lawyer.

That’s 108 people a day, every day, for a full year.


volunteer lawyers pitched in.

That’s 100 major league baseball teams.


pro bono hours were contributed.

That’s 2,517 forty-hour work weeks.

2019-2020 Grantees

prisoners legal services
veterans legal services
Youth Advocacy Foundation_1043
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