LTF Grants & Grant Guidelines

The Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois (LTF) makes grants to non-profit organizations that provide civil legal aid to low-income Illinois residents.

LTF grantees provide a “legal safety net” for people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, but face serious problems related to issues such as domestic violence, child custody, eviction, foreclosure, elder abuse, access to medical care, and other critical needs.

LTF is the largest single source of funding for the legal aid system in Illinois, providing approximately one out of every six dollars spent for that purpose in the state. LTF grants help support the work of hundreds of staff attorneys and thousands of pro bono lawyers, who serve tens of thousands of clients each year.


To be eligible to apply for a grant from LTF, an organization must:

  • Be an Illinois-based non-profit organization with tax-exempt status under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Provide legal assistance to individuals and families in civil (non-criminal) matters for a minumum of two years at the time the application is submitted
  • Serve Illinois residents who do not have resources to obtain private counsel, which is generally defined as having incomes below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines
  • Provide legal services without charge to the client (applies to services supported by the Lawyers Trust Fund)
  • Employ at least one paid, full-time equivalent staff attorney who has been licensed to practice law for at least three years at the time the application is submitted

For additional eligibility criteria and more information, read our Project Grant Guidelines and Guiding Principles for 2020. (PDF). Please note that these guidelines will be revised on a year-to-year basis.

If you have any questions about your organization’s eligibility to apply for a grant, please call LTF Executive Director Mark Marquardt at 312-938-2133.

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