Ohio’s Legal Aids are funded principally through three sources: the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, which distributes revenue from interest on lawyer trust accounts (IOLTA), interest on trust accounts (IOTA), and a civil filing fee surcharge; the federal Legal Services Corporation, which distributes funds authorized by Congress; and private donations and grants. Tragically, funding has dramatically decreased since the onset of the economic recession, just as demand for legal assistance has increased. Today, over 20% of Ohioans qualify for Legal Aid. Because of declining funding, for every case that legal aid accepts, three Ohioans are turned away.
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