Programs & Partnerships

The Bar Foundation is Philadelphia’s philanthropic hub for access to justice. We are the only foundation in Philadelphia solely dedicated to supporting our city's legal services community. But our work involves far more than grantmaking.

Nonprofit legal aid organizations need assistance beyond funding. The Bar Foundation addresses a wide variety of needs in the legal aid sector, providing training programs, fellowships, and assistance for technical and operational issues.

Equal Justice Center

We are working closely with our nonprofit partners and others to build an Equal Justice Center facility that will co-locate dozens of legal aid organizations and strengthen client services. This unique Center will set a new national standard for inter-agency collaboration and operational efficiency.

Nonprofit Board Observers

The Board Observer Program gives young lawyers the opportunity to serve on the boards of local legal services and other public interest organizations, learning about this work and developing leadership skills. Five years after we first developed this Program, it serves as a model for replication in other states.

Trial Skills Training

Through the R. Nicholas Gimbel Fund for Legal Excellence, the Bar Foundation utilizes proven examples of effective training programs and makes them available for local legal aid attorneys. We offer NITA-style trial skills training to our nonprofit partners at no cost, through an acclaimed three-day intensive program in conjunction with Rutgers Law School.

LexisNexis Research Grant Program

The LexisNexis Research Grant Program provides online research time, tools, and training to selected grantees of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Law School Loan Repayment

The Morris M. Shuster Fellowship provides awards each year to deserving public interest attorneys to help them retire their law school debt.

Commerce Court Clerkship

The memory of Judge Albert W. Sheppard, Jr. has been honored through the Honorable Albert W. Sheppard Scholarship Fund and its annual support for a law student clerkship position with the Commerce Case Management Program. The Fund was established by the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the Business Law Section’s Business Litigation Committee (Philadelphia Bar Association).

Asian Pacific American Summer Internship

In memory of Judge Marutani and in conjunction with the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship provides a stipend to subsidize a summer internship position with a nonprofit public interest organization or with a federal, state or municipal government entity (including the judiciary) in Pennsylvania or in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Reentry Transition

The Judge Alfred L. Luongo Fund supports the “Supervision to Aid Reentry” or STAR Program of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, helping ex-offenders succeed in transitioning back to the community. The use of the Luongo Fund has been expanded to also benefit participants in two additional specialized courts in the Eastern District: the Mental Health Protocol and Relapse Prevention Court, supporting participants facing mental health issues and substance addiction. The Fund was established by Federal Judge Gerald Austin (Jerry) McHugh, Jr. and named in honor of one of his mentors, the late Alfred L. Luongo.

International Law Lyon Fund

The Philadelphia Bar Association International Law Committee and the Philadelphia Bar Foundation established the International Law Lyon Internship Fund (the "ILLI Fund") to provide stipends to Philadelphia area law students who participate in the Philadelphia Bar Association – Lyon, France Bar Association exchange program.