Mission & History
"Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists...it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status."
- Lewis Powell, Jr. U.S. Supreme Court Justice (ret.) During his tenure as President of the American Bar Association
Promoting a Just Society
To promote equal access to justice in Connecticut, the Connecticut Bar Foundation:
- develops and oversees programs to enhance understanding and improvement of the law and legal institutions
- administers funding to support access to legal services for the poor
A non-profit organization established in 1952, the Connecticut Bar Foundation works to ensure that the state’s legal system is available to all, regardless of power or resources. The Foundation seeks to assure a reliable and sufficient flow of funds to support legal services that protect the interests of those who cannot afford private counsel.
To achieve this goal, the Foundation administers several programs. The Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts and the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOLTA/IOTA) programs provide funds for delivery of legal services for the poor. The Foundation also funds scholarships, based on financial need, for Connecticut students attending law schools in the state. In addition, the Foundation administers the Judicial Branch Grants-in-Aid and the Court Fees Grants-in-Aid programs for legal services.
In 1994, the Foundation established the James W. Cooper Fellows as the result of a generous bequest from James W. Cooper. The Fellows sponsor symposia and projects that enhance understanding of the role of law in society and promote the highest ideals of the legal system.
The Foundation sponsors the John A. Speziale Alternative Dispute Resolution Program in honor of former Chief Justice John A. Speziale, the first chair of the James W. Cooper Fellows Program. Periodic symposia explore issues in alternative dispute resolution.