Our History

1984 - Pennsylvania Bar Foundation incorporated.
1989

Louis J. Goffman Award Fund established to recognize and reward outstanding pro bono service.

1989

Foundation becomes designated recipient of IOLTA funds.

1991

Foundation creates first memorial funds.

1991

Foundation begins IOLTA Local Options Program. Receives and distributes funds for counties lacking qualified bar foundations. From 1991 – 1996, the programs distributes over $2 million.

1993

Foundation undertakes joint project with Pennsylvania Bar Association to create and fund Pro Bono Coordinator position.

1993

Foundation funds first televise broadcast of PBA/YLD Mock Trial Competition.

1994

PA Lawyers Auxiliary transfers law school scholarship program and funds to Foundation.

1995

Foundation partners with PBA to celebrate PBA’s Centennial. $100 for 100th Fund created to support the purchase of the Belden Building to expand Bar Center.

1996

Foundation provides initial funding for Disabilities Lawyer Referral Service.

1998

Foundation and PBA Young Lawyers Division create joint grant program to provide cash and LexisNexis research time awards to Pennsylvania’s legal services community.

1998

Foundation and Pennsylvania Bar Institute begins partnership to support law-related education and access to justice initiatives. Over next four years, Foundation receives more than $800,000 to support more than 100 programs.

1999

Foundation presents first Service to Humanity Award to author John Grisham.

2000

Foundation presents second Service to Humanity Award to Hon. Louise Arbor.

2000

“Essay on the Practice” literary competition launched to create a scholarly forum for practitioners to comment about the future of the practice of law.

2000

Sustaining Patron recognition category created to encourage existing Life Fellows to continue to support the Foundation.

2001

Supporting youth–justice education programming emerges as a new direction for the Foundation.

2002

Foundation establishes James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.

2002

Bar Association provides full-time staffing for Foundation.

2003

Foundation launches web site: www.pabarfoundation.org

2003

“Night Out with the Foundation,” a friend and fundraising event, debuts with “Dinner on the Run” at Penn National Racecourse.

2005

Foundation creates first donor-advised funds.

2005

Foundation expands grant support to support annual statewide pro bono conference, an educational forum dedicated to training and expanding the number of attorneys providing free legal services in Pennsylvania.

2008

Foundation expands grant support to the annual Diversity Summit, a statewide forum devoted to fostering diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession.

2008

Foundation and Bar Association partner to provide funding support for the National Family Forum on Children, Families and the Courts: Planning for the Future conference.

2008

Foundation awards first Modest Means Panel grants to encourage local county bar associations to establish lawyer referral programs for moderate income Pennsylvanians.

2008

Foundation approached by PA IOLTA and PBA Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Assistance Committee to develop statewide LRAP program.

2009

Modest Means Program sunsetted. Four grants awarded over 2-year program lifespan.

2010

Foundation receives $1,050,000 grant from PA IOLTA to launch first statewide loan repayment assistance program for attorneys employed in IOLTA-funded organizations.

2011

First year of loan repayment assistance program awards 75 loans valued at more than $245,000. 84 loans valued at more than $300,000.

2012

Foundation receives $10,000 grant from Pittsburgh Foundation to increase Louis J. Goffman Award endowment to $25,000.

2012

Second year of loan repayment assistant program awards 85 loans values at more than $300,000.

2012

Foundation rededicates its mission to supporting programs that increase the public’s understanding of the law and promote equal access to justice.

2013

Third year of loan repayment assistance program awards 80 loans valued at more than $350,000.

2013

Wayne County Bar Association and PBA Workers’ Compensation Section establish dedicated funds with the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.

2013

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania approves IOLTA grant for the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation’s continued administration of the loan repayment assistance program in the amount of $1,050,858 for a 3-year grant period, January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016.

2013

Foundation launches Named Scholarship Program. Joseph T. McDonald Scholarship Fund of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation established. First $3,000 scholarship awarded to Dickinson School of Law student with trial advocacy focus.

2014

Fourth year of loan repayment assistance program awards 90 loans valued at more than $380,000.

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