Oklahoma Bar Journal

Oklahoma Bar Foundation Awards $1.2 Million in IOLTA Grants

The Oklahoma Bar Foundation is excited to announce that $1.2 million in grants will be awarded to 45 nonprofits for fiscal year 2024 program funding. This is the largest amount of grant funding ever given through the annual IOLTA Program. The newly named grantees anticipate helping more than 66,000 Oklahomans next year. How the 45 grantees achieve their individual missions is unique, but they all have one thing in common: a major need for client access to legal representation.

“Every year the OBF receives grant requests from nonprofits that provide crucial law-related services throughout our state to those most in need,” said OBF Grants & Awards Chair Jim Dowell. “Providing essential funding for these organizations is at the core of the OBF’s mission. Hearing the impact of the OBF’s IOLTA grants on the lives of Oklahomans is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving on the OBF board.”

The board-approved increase in grant funds means grantees can better serve their clients with direct access to life-changing legal services. This year, OBF grantee The Spero Project, whose mission is to serve the refugee community in Oklahoma City, received a larger grant amount to hire a full-time staff immigration attorney.

“We are so excited to join this year's IOLTA grant recipients,” said Brad Bandy, founder of The Spero Project. “We are going to maximize this investment by offering immigration legal support for families living with pending immigration status. Our neighbors know the anxiety and desperation every day of living in limbo and uncertainty about their future. ‘We eat and drink with it. ... We sleep with it,’ one woman told me. But when they know that progress is being made in their cases for their families, and especially their children, there’s a sense of hope, and it changes lives. The impact of this work is generational! Thank you for thinking of us and growing with us! We love partnering with the OBF to help our neighbors carry their burdens as we walk into a brighter future. And who knows, we might even get to be the answer to some prayers!”

OBF grantees provide critical legal services across the state to abused and neglected children, domestic violence and human trafficking survivors, refugees and immigrants living in Oklahoma. They also provide court-ordered juvenile and family services programs, adult diversion programs, legal clinics and teen law-related educational programs like the Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Program.




Grantee Nonprofit Organization Program/Project Service Area Grant Amount Lives Impacted
1st Step Male Diversion Program 1st Step Parenting Course Tulsa, Creek and Wagoner counties $15,025 25
CASA of Canadian County Court Advocacy for Abused Children Canadian County $15,000 130
The CARE Center Child Abuse Forensic Interviewing Program Oklahoma County $10,000 850
CASA of Southern Oklahoma Court Advocacy for Abused Children Carter, Love, Murray, Johnston and Marshall counties $15,000 90
CASA for Kids Court Advocacy for Abused Children Kay, Logan and Payne counties $15,000 164
CASA of Northeast Oklahoma Family Preservation Project Craig, Mayes and Rogers counties $25,000 193
CASA of Oklahoma County Court Advocacy for Abused Children Oklahoma County $15,000 653
CASA of Pawnee/Osage County Court Advocacy for Abused Children Osage and Pawnee counties $20,000 65
CASA of Western Oklahoma Court Advocacy for Abused Children Beckham, Custer, Dewey, Roger Mills and Washita counties $15,000 230
Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma Immigration Legal Services Muskogee, Osage and Tulsa counties $25,000 800
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Immigration Legal Services Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties $50,000 518
Center for Children and Families Divorce and Co-Parenting Services Cleveland and Oklahoma counties $20,000 560
Child Abuse Network Forensic Interviews and Court Advocacy Okmulgee, Tulsa and Wagoner counties $20,000 1,600
Citizens for Juvenile Justice Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau Literacy Initiative Oklahoma County $4,399.50 100
Citizens for Juvenile Justice Connect to Redirect Program Oklahoma County $4,725 1,500
Community Crisis Center Court Advocates Ottawa and Delaware counties $9,945 650
Domestic Violence Intervention Services DVIS Legal Program Creek and Tulsa counties $20,000 3,871
Garfield County Child Advocacy Council Court Advocacy for Abused Children Garfield, Kingfisher and Woodward counties $20,000 200
Historical Society of the U.S. District Court Judicial Learning Center: Significant Cases Program Development Statewide $20,000 700
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Access to Civil Legal Services Statewide $130,000 25,000
Marie Detty Youth & Family Services Domestic and Sexual Violence and Stalking Prevention Services Caddo, Comanche and Cotton counties $20,000 798
Mary Abbott Children's House Forensic Interview Program Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties $7,500 1,000
Mental Health Association Oklahoma Special Services Docket Tulsa County $25,000 240
Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation Legal Education and Engagement Statewide $25,000 1,000
Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Mental Illness and Criminal Law Handbook Statewide $15,000 10,000
Oklahoma CASA Association Training for CASA Volunteers and Local Programs Statewide $12,000 3,100
OCU School of Law American Indian Wills Clinic Statewide $30,000 100
Oklahoma Guardian Ad Litem Institute GAL Services for Low-Income Children and Families Statewide $50,000 100
Oklahoma Bar Association Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Program Statewide $50,000 800
Oklahoma Lawyers for Families and Children Family Advocacy Program Oklahoma and Canadian counties $130,000 3,500
Palomar: Oklahoma City's Family Justice Center Palomar Legal Network Cleveland, Oklahoma and Logan counties $5,000 100
The Parent Child Center of Tulsa Tulsa Safe Babies Court Team Tulsa County $20,000 210
Pittsburg County Child Abuse Response Effort Victim's Advocacy and Community Training Pittsburgh County $15,000 250
ReMerge of Oklahoma County ReMerge Diversion Program Statewide $10,000 85
The Spero Project Refugee Legal Support Services Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties $100,000 350
The Spring Legal Services for Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence Survivors Statewide $15,000 2,200
Teen Court Delinquency Prevention/Peer Court Comanche County $30,000 1,200
Trinity Legal Clinic of Oklahoma Community Justice Initiative Canadian, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties $65,000 300
Tulsa Lawyers for Children Legal Representation for Abused Children Tulsa County $60,000 250
The University of Tulsa TU Law Immigration Programs Statewide $58,000 800
Western Plains Youth & Family Services Services for Juveniles in Detention Ellis, Harper and Woodward counties $20,000 100
YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City Youth and Government Program Oklahoma County $8,000 800
Youth and Family Resource Center Court Advocacy for Abused Children Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties $10,000 47
Youth Services of Tulsa Youth Court Tulsa County $10,000 400
YWCA of Tulsa Immigration Legal Services Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties $30,000 858
TOTAL: $1,289,594.50 66,487


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Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 9 (November 2023)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.