Hennepin County Bar Foundation. Est. 1968


The Hennepin County Bar Foundation

HCBA members are known for their extraordinary generosity and service to the local Hennepin County community. One critical way that HCBA members give back is through donations to the Hennepin County Bar Foundation (HCBF). The HCBF fulfills its mission of "promoting access to justice for the people of Hennepin County" by giving more than $200,000 in grants each year to dozens of local nonprofits, in addition to periodically providing extraordinary grants from the donation of cy pres awards and seed money for new endeavors. 


The HCBF is focused on growing the impact of our grants by:

  • Giving larger grant awards
  • Conducting a rigorous, multi-stage grant review process;
    Connecting with the local nonprofit community to keep updated on ever-changing community needs; and
  • Growing the dollars raised in order to say "yes" to a higher number of deserving grant applicants.

When you designate part of your budget for charitable giving, we urge you to make the HCBF a priority. Your donation has double impact: it results in a stronger local community and furthers the ideals of the legal profession.

Learn more about this year's grantees
Apply for an HCBF grant
Mark your calendar for the next HCBF event
Donate to the HCBF

VLN & Pro Bono

The Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) is the pro bono arm of the HCBA. For decades, the HCBA and HCBF have had a unique partnership with VLN, providing core funding and promoting VLN as HCBA members' primary resource for connecting with opportunities to fulfill pro bono obligations.

The HCBA is committed to encouraging pro bono publico. Our model pro bono policy and annual Excellence Awards provide guidance and lift up those within the local legal community who exemplify the best in pro bono service.

Volunteer with VLN
View the HCBA's model pro bono policy

Service to the Community

The HCBA provides a variety of direct public services to the people of Hennepin County. 

HCBA staff and volunteers:

  • Respond to more than 10,000 calls each year to our Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) from Hennepin County residents who have law-related questions;
  • Offer one-on-one assistance every weekday at the Legal Access Point (LAP) clinic in the Minneapolis courthouse;
  • Provide legal advice before each court session at all Hennepin County courthouses to individuals operating pro se who have been charged with misdemeanors;
  • Coordinate the Commitment Defense Project (CDP) to ensure quality representation of residents with mental health issues is provided; and
  • Educate students and new citizens on the law and the legal process.

Learn about HCBA service programs
Learn about the Lawyer Referral Service
Learn about the Misdemeanor Defense Program
Learn about the Commitment Defense Project
Learn about resources for teachers and students


Erikka Ryan

Director of Equity, Inclusion and Foundations



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