IOLTA programs were first established in Australia and Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s to generate funds for legal services to the poor.  The Florida Bar Foundation started the first IOLTA Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts program in the United States in 1981.  Today, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all operate IOLTA programs.  With the approval of the Florida Supreme Court, IOLTA contributions are allocated for:

- Legal Assistance for the Poor

- Improvements in the Administration of Justice

- Law Student Assistance

IOLTA is a unique and innovative way to increase access to justice for individuals and families living in poverty and to improve our justice system.  Without taxing the public, and at no cost to lawyers or their clients, interest from lawyer trust accounts is pooled to provide civil legal aid to the poor and support improvements to the justice system.  

2 Easy Steps to an IOTA/IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers' Trust Account)

1.  Complete and submit Notice to Bar Foundation and Notice to Eligible Institution Forms.

2.  Open an IOTA/IOLTA account.

All IOTA/IOLTAs must be in the law firm's name, must be labeled as a trust account, must bear the law firm's taxpayer identification number, and must be in compliance with 5-1.1(g) Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.           

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