Lawyer participation funds civil legal aid

The IOLA program requires attorneys to maintain special interest-bearing trust accounts for “qualified funds” – funds that the attorney determines are too small in amount or held for too short a time to generate net interest – in a segregated account. These otherwise idle funds are pooled in an IOLA account, in which the IOLA Fund holds the beneficial interest.

Collectively, the interest from IOLA accounts produces millions of dollars each year to finance legal aid for low income New Yorkers and improvements in the administration of justice throughout New York State.

IOLA Requirements

Every New York lawyer who handles "qualified funds" must maintain and use an IOLA account. A New York lawyer may not place qualifying funds in a non-interest bearing account. Interest earned on deposits held in IOLA accounts are remitted directly to the IOLA Fund by participating financial institutions.

Open an IOLA account only with a participating financial institution. Because every dollar of IOLA interest supports civil legal aid for low-income New Yorkers, we encourage attorneys to select one of the Platinum and Gold Partner Banks that have made a special commitment, going beyond minimal compliance with the regulations to pay competitive rates. 

Upon opening the IOLA account, submit the online IOLA Attorney Enrollment Form.

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About Us

In 1983, with the strong support of the New York State Bar Association, the legislature created the New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund ("IOLA") as a means to provide additional financial support to civil legal service organizations.


Phone: (646) 865-1541

Support Office

The IOLA Fund of the State of New York
11 E. 44th Street, Suite #1406
New York, NY 10017