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Our Story

The Vermont Bar Foundation (VBF) is the only foundation in the state solely dedicated to the legal services community. Our unwavering mission is to improve access to justice for low-income, underserved, and marginalized Vermonters, with primary funding coming from Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA).

IOLTA pools interest from lawyers’ trust accounts to provide civil legal aid without taxing the public.

Since October 1982, the VBF has been operating as a charitable nonprofit committed to advancing equal access to justice. Over the last forty years, we’ve raised and distributed more than $27 million to more than 60 deserving organizations, including legal aid providers, law school clinics, domestic violence prevention programs, and more.

Our efforts also contribute to the financial support of the Poverty Law Fellowship, a prestigious two-year program empowering talented early-career attorneys to confront challenges surrounding justice  accessibility. The Fellows’ work has significantly improved the lives of countless Vermont families and individuals.

In October 2022, we celebrated our 40th anniversary, reflecting on the significant impact we’ve had throughout Vermont. Our contributions not only assist those in need but also stimulate the local economy. For every dollar donated to the VBF for low-income legal services , there is an impressive $11 return on investment.

The demand for equitable legal access has surged, particularly amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we’ve remained steadfast in our resource management while effectively meeting the mounting needs.

The VBF’s Board of Directors, committee members, and Executive Director maintain scrupulous oversight, investing countless volunteer hours each year to secure and allocate resources, ensuring the protection of the rights of those unable to afford legal services.

Our recent endeavors include providing comprehensive educational programs for all Vermont residents, designed to foster an understanding of rights and their legal safeguarding, empowering individuals to raise their voices.

Through these initiatives, grants and the Poverty Law Fellowship, we strive to foster a comprehensive understanding of the justice system and to ensure meaningful access for all Vermonters.

Our Board and staff take immense pride in our past achievements and are excited about the successes and impact we will keep achieving across the state this year and in the future.

We invite you to contribute to the Vermont Bar Foundation today and be a part of our ongoing mission. Together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of those who need it most.

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Vermont Bar Foundation