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Grant Announcements



American Bar Endowment Opens 2020 Opportunity Grants Cycle.

ABE grants support vital research, educational, and public service programs of importance to the public and the legal profession, including local projects that advance access to justice, improve the justice system and increase civic engagement.


NEWS PROVIDED BY
American Bar Endowment
July 2, 2019, 9:00 ET

CHICAGO, July 2, 2019 -- The American Bar Endowment (ABE), an independent, not-for-profit public charity, announced today that it is now accepting applications for its 2020 Opportunity Grant Program cycle. ABE Opportunity Grants will be awarded to 'boots-on-the-ground' initiatives and innovative projects that:

  • Enhance access to justice through innovative legal services delivery;
  • Promote the rule of law and improve the justice system; and
  • Increase the public’s understanding of the law and the legal system and increase civic engagement.

Since the Opportunity Grant Program’s inception three years ago, with generous donations from lawyer members of the American Bar Association who are insured through ABE-sponsored insurance programs, the ABE has provided 38 grants totaling just over $1 million to local projects in 20 states and U.S. territories and national organizations.

"Each year we look forward to launching the new Opportunity Grants cycle to help support underserved communities through law-related programs," Joanne Martin, Executive Director of ABE, said. "Our ability to provide funding for these critical efforts is only possible because of the generosity of thousands of ABA lawyer members, who annually donate any available dividends from their ABE-sponsored insurance plans to the ABE. The organizations that receive ABE Opportunity Grants have been able to explore and launch new and innovative legal service delivery tools and programs," Martin added.

For example, ABE Opportunity Grants have supported:

  • pro bono legal service delivery in rural Colorado to help low-income tenants avoid eviction and homelessness;
  • creation of tools that provide guidance for residents affected by natural disasters in Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and
  • expansion of access to legal services using mobile legal clinics in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland.
ABE President, Stephen N. Zack, said, "the entire ABE Board of Directors has been pleased and encouraged by how a modest Opportunity Grant can mean so much to a grassroots organization and produce so much impact. With such a huge unmet need for legal services, we are so proud to be partnering with these wonderful organizations to address the critical needs of their communities."

The deadline to apply for a 2020 ABE Opportunity Grant is September 30, 2019. The ABE will announce awards in late February 2020. For more information about ABE and a list of previous ABE Opportunity Grant recipients, as well as information about guidelines and applying, visit http://www.abendowment.org/.


About the American Bar Endowment (ABE)
Established in 1942, the American Bar Endowment (ABE) is an independent, not-for-profit public charity. The ABE provides lawyer members of the ABA with a unique way to protect themselves, their families, and their professional endeavors through participation in a range of ABE-sponsored insurance products underwritten by New York Life – with the option to seamlessly give any available annual dividends* they would otherwise receive to the ABE as a tax-deductible donation. In turn, the ABE makes grants that support critical law-related public service, educational, and research programs. At its core, the ABE is a charitable organization powered by generations of lawyers committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all.

*Annual dividends are not guaranteed.




The American Bar Endowment awards over $6.8 Million in 2019 to support critical law-related projects.

ABE grants support vital research, educational, and public service programs of importance to the public and the legal profession, as well as local projects that advance access to justice, improve the justice system and increase civic engagement.


CHICAGO, April 11, 2019 -- The American Bar Endowment (ABE), an independent, not-for-profit public charity, has awarded over $6.8 million in grants to the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE) and eleven boots-on-the-ground initiatives to support vital law-related research, education, public service, and grassroots programs. As funding for the Legal Services Corporation remains under threat, these grants become even more important to protect the legal rights of the public.

"We're thrilled to provide our 63rd year of funding for vital initiatives that increase understanding of the law in action and access to legal services across the country. Supported in part by ABE grants, the stellar research of the ABF, the public service projects of the FJE, and the wonderful community legal service efforts of our Opportunity Grant awardees identify and address the critical legal needs and rights of individuals," Joanne Martin, Executive Director of the ABE, said. "Our ability to provide these grants is made possible by the generous donations of thousands of lawyer members who contribute any available annual dividends* from their ABE-sponsored insurance plans. With the financial support of our insured, we are able to help fund a diverse array of organizations and projects – from research on the effects of parental incarceration on children to the implantation of online platforms that engage pro bono lawyers to serve veterans to bringing mobile legal clinics to underserved areas."

In the 2019 grant cycle, the ABE awarded over $3.2 million each to the ABF and FJE. The eleven Opportunity Grant recipients received a total of nearly $414,000. Over the past 63 years, the ABE has granted nearly $300 million to organizations working to make the promise of justice a reality.

"The American Bar Foundation’s core mission is to expand knowledge and advance justice. We could not pursue that mission without the longstanding support of the American Bar Endowment," said Ajay K. Mehrotra ABF Executive Director. "Nearly all of our scholarship including our innovative and influential research on Access to Justice is supported by the ABE and the generous lawyers who back the ABE."

Bob Carlson, President of the American Bar Association, said, "The ABE remains the largest annual unrestricted donor to the ABA/FJE. Their gift supports and enhances the charitable work of the ABA, allowing us to defend liberty and deliver justice as the national representative of the legal profession. Unrestricted gifts marshal the talents of pro bono attorneys to assist veterans who have honorably served our country but struggle to receive their disability benefits, provides hope to migrant children and families seeking asylum and a safer future, helps survivors of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and floods trying to rebuild their lives, and so much more."

For the third consecutive year, the ABE made Opportunity Grants, which provide a new level of direct support for boots-on-the-ground projects that focus on enhancing access to legal assistance in underserved communities, improving the administration of justice and increasing civic engagement by those who are often disenfranchised. The 2019 Opportunity Grant recipients are:

Stephen N. Zack, the ABE’s President said, "the entire ABE Board of Directors has been pleased and encouraged by how a modest Opportunity Grant can mean so much to a grassroots organization and produce so much impact. With such a huge unmet need for legal services, we are so proud to be partnering with these wonderful organizations to address the critical needs of their communities."

For more information on the ABE and its grant-supported programs visit www.abendowment.org or contact Jackie Casey at jcasey@abenet.org or 312-988-6402.


About the American Bar Endowment (ABE)
Established in 1942, the American Bar Endowment (ABE) is an independent, not-for-profit public charity. The ABE provides lawyer members of the ABA with a unique way to protect themselves, their families, and their professional endeavors through participation in a range of ABE-sponsored insurance products underwritten by New York Life – with the option to seamlessly give any available annual dividends* they would otherwise receive to the ABE as a tax-deductible donation. In turn, the ABE makes grants that support critical law-related public service, educational, and research programs. At its core, the ABE is a charitable organization powered by generations of lawyers committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all.

*Annual dividends are not guaranteed.

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