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Who is responsible for the oversight of the IOLTA program?
The Legal Services Trust Fund Program is a department within the State Bar of California that administers IOLTA accounts, as well as two other sources of funding for free civil legal aid to low-income and indigent people: the California Equal Access Fund and the Justice Gap Fund.
The State Bar initiated the Legal Services Trust Fund Program due to the lack of resources available for indigent clients who are in need of civil legal services. The substantial amount of money the program generates makes it possible for hundreds of thousands of these people to get the legal help that they need every year.
A 21-member Legal Services Trust Fund Commission appointed by the State Bar's Board of Trustees and the Chief Justice (on behalf of the Judicial Council of California) oversees the Trust Fund Program. Two-thirds of the commission members are attorneys and one-third are public members.
At least two of the 21 members must be "indigent persons" as defined by law. Three judges serve as non-voting advisors to the commission.
The Commission determines the eligibility of programs applying for funding, reviews recipients' budgets for compliance with the law, and monitors and evaluates the activities of programs receiving Trust Fund Program grants.