As established by Idaho Bar Commission Rule 302 and Idaho Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15, the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program works with members of the Idaho State Bar and the Idaho banking community to allow attorneys to place client funds, which are nominal in amount or held for a short period of time, into pooled interest-bearing accounts. Interest earned is remitted to the Idaho Law Foundation, which distributes these funds through the IOLTA grant process to programs that meet our funding requirements.
Benefits of IOLTA
IOLTA funds fill important community needs and are distributed once a year through a competitive grant process to qualified non-profit organizations that meet the Idaho Law Foundation’s funding guidelines. Since the inception of Idaho’s IOLTA program in 1982, over $5.5 million has been distributed to programs and scholarships benefiting the public, including programs that provide:
- Legal services to the poor
- Law-related education programs for the public
- Scholarships and student loans
- Improvement to the administration of justice
Setting Up an IOLTA Account
If you are a new attorney, have changed firms, or are simply changing banks, you will need to open up a new IOLTA account. For changes in your IOLTA account, follow these steps:
- Make sure your bank is on the list of Approved Financial Institutions and check to see whether or not your bank is a Leadership Bank.
- Fill out a Trust Account Certificate Request Form.
- Once you receive your Trust Account Certificate Form, take it with you to your bank to set up your new IOLTA account. You will need to update your old account information and the bank will add your new account information.
- Give the bank a copy of your completed Trust Account Certificate Form and return the original to Annette Strauser and the Idaho State Bar.