Allegheny County Bar Association Expresses Appreciation and Pride in Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s Decision to Help Legal Aid Programs

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 8, 2009 — The officers and Board of Governors of the Allegheny County Bar Association today recognized the recent action of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to raise more funds for civil legal services for citizens who cannot afford them by increasing attorney registration fees for Pennsylvania lawyers by $25. The increase, which will be passed through the IOLTA Board to fund civil legal assistance for the poor, is expected to generate between $1 million and $2 million annually.

“We take great pride in the action of our Chief Justice and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to help our area legal aid organizations and programs,” said Jay Blechman, president of the Allegheny County Bar Association. These legal organizations have long ensured that area residents who cannot afford legal representation receive the assistance they need. The Supreme Court’s action will provide additional aid to these organizations during a time when economic conditions are leading to an increased number of issues requiring legal assistance. I know our members would join me in saying that the increased registration fee is one additional contribution that we are pleased to make.”

The mission of the IOLTA Board is to award grants to non-profit organizations that provide legal assistance to low income Pennsylvania residents with civil legal problems. Decreasing interest rates have reduced funds available from $13.5 million in fiscal year 2007-2008 to $3.5 million in fiscal year 2009-2010.

Jay Blechman, Esquire, 412-263-3700
President, Allegheny County Bar Association

Tom Loftus
Director of Marketing and Media Relations
Allegheny County Bar Association

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators, and paralegals.