Each December the Alabama Law Foundation awards grants for law-related charitable purposes. Until just two or three years ago the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program generated all grant funds. However, we are beginning the sixth year of record low interest rates so IOLTA revenue is one-third as much as it was in 2008. That means that for 2014 the foundation could potentially have only $381,000 to give to grantees, down from $500,000 for 2013.
Over eighty percent of the foundation’s grants are awarded to organizations that provide free civil legal aid to low-income residents of Alabama. A large portion of legal aid grants help support the five Volunteer Lawyers Programs in the state. Together, with Legal Services Alabama they provided legal assistance to 15,900 clients in 2012. The funding provided to all of these programs through the Legal Services Corporation has been cut as the result of federal budget cuts.
Not wanting to add to the program’s financial woes, eight supporters of legal aid have agreed to participate in the 2013 ALF Football Challenge. There are two teams of four members each, the Orange and Blue Team and the Crimson and White Team competing against each other for donations and pride. The team that has the least amount of donations at the end of the competition will have to incorporate the school colors of the other team into their formal attire at the annual Fellows of the Alabama Law Foundation dinner in January. Go to the 2013 ALF Football Challenge and decide who you’d most like to see in the colors of the “School on the Opposite Side of the State” and donate for the other team. Donate early and donate often!
Team updates will be posted daily. The eight people who have graciously agreed to take part in this effort are below.
Orange & Blue Team
Joe Fawal – ALF Vice President and Birmingham Bar Association Past President
Phillip McCallum – Alabama State Bar Immediate Past President
Tony McLain – Alabama State Bar General Counsel
Tom Oliver – ALF President
Crimson & White Team
Wade Baxley – Alabama State Bar Past President
Rich Raleigh – Alabama State Bar President Elect
Cooper Shattuck – Alabama State Bar Pro Bono & Public Service Committee Vice Chair
Tommy Wells – American Bar Association Past President