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TBA Foundation Lawyers in Need Program

Eligibility for Personal Hardship Loans

History of the Lawyers in Need Program

The IRS has determined the Toledo Bar Association Foundation (“Foundation”) to be a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation was established in 1951 for charitable purposes, among them the “relieving, aiding and assisting as charitable acts, deserving members of the Bar who shall be ill, incapacitated, indigent, or superannuated and in need of aid.”
In 2002, to carry out this charitable purpose, the Foundation established the “Lawyers in Need Program” to provide financial aid for any urgent and desperate circumstances under which a lawyer may be operating. The Foundation has decided to make financial aid available through “personal hardship loans” not to exceed $10,000.
In making loans, no consideration will be given to the applicant’s gender, creed, race, sexual orientation, or national origin.

Eligibility for Personal Hardship Loans

Who can apply?

The personal hardship loan applicant must be an Ohio lawyer in good standing with the Ohio Supreme Court who can show impoverishment and “desperate financial need” as defined below and whose residence or office is located in Lucas County, Ohio, or adjacent counties. The applicant’s gross income and assets must be within the Schedule of LAWO Income and Asset Eligibility Guidelines using the LAWO’s Annual Gross Income Ceiling (“Schedule”).

What circumstances will the Foundation consider in making a personal hardship loan?

To be eligible for a personal hardship loan, the grant applicant must demonstrate a desperate financial need such as: 

(1) an emergency need resulting directly from an identifiable, sudden, and unexpected event;
(2) the inability to provide for the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and other basic sustenance;
(3) unusual and uninsured medical expenses caused by severe illness or accident; or
(4) a need for supplemental assistance by an aged or handicapped individual with income insufficient to maintain a minimum standard of living.

An emergency event includes a serious injury or illness of the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, or casualty or theft loss to a personal residence or workplace which financially impacts the applicant. The event must be caused by events outside the control of the applicant or affected member of the applicant’s household and must be unlikely to recur or to continue for a long period of time.

The applicant must demonstrate that the hardship has caused a significant interruption in the applicant’s life and that he or she lacks the liquid financial reserves needed to meet the demands of the emergency or the basic necessities of life. Assistance will not be provided for expenses covered by insurance or other resources.
The Foundation will not accept contributions earmarked for a specific individual or family.

Must the purpose of the loan be disclosed in the loan application?


When may I expect a decision on my loan application?

The Foundation Board of Directors meets on a quarterly basis but will call an emergency meeting if it is warranted to consider an emergency loan. We will review your need, consider your assets and income which must be within Schedule limits, consider our available funds for grants, and try to meet your request or direct you to other sources of funding.


To request a loan, please download the Personal Hardship Loan Application Package from the Toledo Bar Association website (linked below) and return the completed application to:
Executive Director
Toledo Bar Association Foundation
311 N. Superior Street
Toledo, OH 43604-1454

The application will include a Financial Disclosure Form which is the same as the one used in the Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Program.
If a loan application is approved, the Foundation will make a personal hardship loan. The applicant must sign a promissory note bearing annual interest at the applicable federal rate for short term interest in effect for the month in which the loan was made, if the loan is at least $10,000. The loan be repaid as the financial situation improves.

Documents to be maintained by the Foundation

 (1) The completed original Personal Hardship Loan paperwork; and
 (2) Loan repayment information.
These guidelines supersede all prior guidelines pertaining to the Lawyers In Need Program.

Toledo Bar Association Foundation Lawyers in Need Application Process

Please consult this information when applying for a personal hardship loan from the Foundation:  

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