Rhode Island Bar Foundation

Welcome to the Rhode Island Bar Foundation page. Founded in 1953, the Rhode Island Bar Foundation is a non-profit, charitable Foundation whose mission is to foster and maintain the honor and integrity of the profession of law and to study, improve and facilitate the administration of justice in Rhode Island, as well as promote the study of law, research therein and diffusion of knowledge and to promote high standards of legal education.

The Foundation’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program makes significant grants in four main areas:

1. Providing legal services to the poor in Rhode Island;
2. Improving the delivery of legal services;
3. Promoting knowledge and awareness of the law;
4. Improving the administration of justice.

Attorney participation in the IOLTA program accounts for our most significant source of revenue. The Bar Foundation is also supported by annual contributions though our Fellows program.

The Rhode Island Bar Foundation’s Thomas F. Black, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1989 to support and foster high legal practice standards by assisting Rhode Island residents who show promise that they will become outstanding lawyers and who need financial assistance to study law. The Scholarship is in honor of the late Thomas F. Black, Jr., a person known for his impressive ability as a lawyer and banker, his deeply rooted legal scholarship and his notable participation in civic and charitable causes.

The Bar Foundation is an independent organization from the Rhode Island Bar Association, although we share a close relationship with common goals. The Bar Foundation owns the Rhode Island Law Center on 115 Cedar Street in Providence, where both the Bar Association and Bar Foundation are located.