Program boosts funding for legal aid in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas––Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the largest state-based funding source for civil legal aid, announced today Capitol Credit Union is the newest bank to join the Foundation’s Prime Partner program, an ongoing initiative that makes legal assistance more accessible for thousands of Texans. Funding from this program helps TAJF provide legal aid services to more than 100,000 Texans across the state each year.
Prime Partner banks and credit unions voluntarily pay higher interest rates for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), a method of raising money for civil legal aid and to support improvements to the justice system. Prime Partner financial institutions pay 75% of the Federal Funds Target Rate on IOLTA accounts, which is well above the eligibility requirements for banks participating in the IOLTA program.
“Every day, Texans face evictions, domestic violence situations and other economic hardships that require legal assistance to navigate, and unfortunately, many of our neighbors do not have funds to hire a lawyer” Deborah Hankinson, chair of the board of directors for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “With the help of Prime Partners, low-income Texans will continue to receive access to basic and essential civil legal services. We are honored to welcome Capitol Credit Union, a long-standing institution in Central Texas, to the Prime Partner program.”
Approximately five million Texans qualify for legal aid, the second-highest number in the nation. Legal aid organizations help Texas families each year, but due to a lack of resources, many continue to suffer or unsuccessfully attempt to represent themselves in the complex court system.
“Capitol Credit Union is proud to partner with the Texas Access to Justice Foundation by joining the Texas IOLTA Prime Partner program,” said Emiley Reed, director of retail sales and operations for Capitol Credit Union. “This partnership will make a direct impact on improving the lives of Texans in need of legal help.”
Attorneys who handle client funds are required to keep those funds in IOLTA accounts until they can be made available to a client. TAJF receives funding from the interest generated by these accounts and uses the money to distribute grants to legal aid providers throughout the state. Prime Partners are critical to increasing this funding source that is essential to helping many of Texas’ most vulnerable residents.
For more information on becoming a Prime Partner, visit: www.teajf.org
Texas Access to Justice Foundation
The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texas families each year. For more information, please visit: www.teajf.org