All attorneys in Vermont are required to place client funds in trust. If the funds are large enough or held long enough to generate significant interest, that interest is returned to the client.
In most cases, however, client funds amount to so little, or are held for such a short time, that the interest is insignificant. In these cases, interest is put into IOLTA instead. Nationwide, all those tiny amounts of interest add up to millions of dollars each year. And those millions are disbursed to provide legal aid to people with low incomes.
In Vermont, IOLTA generates in the range of $850,000 each year. Vermont IOLTA funds are held by the Vermont Bar Foundation, which disburses the funds to a number of legal aid organizations, including Have Justice-Will Travel, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Law School South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the VBA Legal Assistance Programs.
Why Your Choice of Bank Matters
Not all banks pay the same rate of interest for IOLTA accounts. Especially in times when interest rates are low, it’s important to choose a financial institution that pays the highest interest rate possible for your IOLTA account. Doing so means more money for legal aid programs, and better access to justice for the people in your community. That’s why the Vermont Bar Foundation encourages you to bank with our Gold and Silver Leadership Institutions.