Institute Receives $120,000 Grant from NC IOLTA for Trauma-informed Courts Research

May 10, 2023Latest News, Trauma-Informed Courts


The Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law School has received a $120,000 grant from the North Carolina Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (NC IOLTA) to support the first-ever day-long trauma education program as part of orientation for all newly elected North Carolina district court judges, as well as subsequent skills workshops in the months following orientation. The grant will also fund expanded research on the efficacy of trauma-informed judicial practices.

“We are so grateful to members of the NC IOLTA board for recognizing the importance of educating judges about trauma-informed practices and studying the impact of those practices in North Carolina courts,” said Amelia Ashton Thorn, adjunct professor at Duke Law and assistant director of the Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law School. “With these funds, we can continue to broaden our multidisciplinary research and advance our mission to create a justice system that recognizes and values the humanity of all those who come before it.”

Established in 1983, NC IOLTA has awarded more than $100 million to organizations that provide legal aid to individuals, families, and children. These grants have supported victims of domestic violence, families facing eviction and property loss, disabled seniors, and countless other North Carolinians in need of legal assistance to protect their basic human rights.

A full list of the 2023 NC IOLTA grants is available here. For more information about NC IOLTA’s grant programs, visit