There are 9,056 practicing attorneys in Nevada, according to the Nevada State Bar. The majority of them tend to focus their expertise in a particular area of the law, which can include corporate, trial attorney, personal injury, estate, family law, bankruptcy, and others. This kind of specialization is often desired by clients who seek an experienced attorney to handle their case, providing them with the best opportunity for a positive outcome.
Experience is also a deciding factor for attorneys when selecting a financial institution. That’s why many have chosen Bank of Nevada’s Juris banking team to provide money management, financial strategies, and customized loan products, combined with superior personalized service.
Trial attorneys, for example, will work on a case for weeks, months, or even years before it concludes. That means a knowledgeable banker can offer the solutions that allow flexibility to handle the case to its completion.
“Because our Juris banking team works so closely with law firms of all kinds, we know that some legal cases do not settle quickly,” said Sarah Guindy, Sr. Director, Commerical Banking. “In terms of our trial attorney clients, we work closely with them to provide the appropriate lines of credit which give them flexibility to complete their case,” she said.
While many financial institutions seek to gain the business of attorneys and law firms, few can offer the breadth of experience, the in-depth industry knowledge and highly personalized service provided by Bank of Nevada.
It takes experience and years of working side-by-side with attorney clients to understand the needs of trial attorneys, corporate law firms, family law practices, estate attorneys, and other specialty firms. From a banking perspective, each legal sector has different needs which means banking products and financial solutions have to be customized. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
“We sit down with our clients and take the time to learn about them, we do our research, and we understand how they operate,” Guindy says. “In terms of trial attorneys, for example, we talk to them about their average turnaround time to close a case, and then we customize our products to provide them with the financing they need to be successful,” she added.
Guindy, who has led Bank of Nevada’s Juris banking team since 2009, says finding solutions for clients is an essential part of growing the banking relationship. That also means going beyond solutions to anticipate the needs of clients, which is where the Juris banking team’s experience pays off.
Attorneys that specialize in personal injury cases will often receive two-party checks which is something not all banks anticipate. Some institutions will require an endorsement guarantee or a power of attorney accompanying the check before they will cash it. Unfortunately, that can be frustrating for attorneys and their clients, and will often delay the check cashing process for several days.
“When we first sit down with a client to discuss their banking needs and business goals, we ask them to provide a copy of the agreement that their clients sign making sure the law firm has the ability to negotiate checks on behalf of their clients. This proactive approach strengthens relationships and removes hassles & inconveniences at the bank when the law firm tries to deposit the two party check and are told they cannot do so,” said Guindy. “The client may not realize it at that moment, but taking this step ahead of time makes for an efficient process in operating their law firm.” Guindy added “Our juris clients, especially those who come to us from other financial institutions, appreciate that we’ve anticipated their business needs and provided a solution.”
The experience of the Juris team is also helpful for attorneys and firms just starting a practice.
“To be honest, many banks can open up an account for IOLTA funds, but for newer attorneys who may not have the guidance, those IOLTA frameworks need to be set up correctly, so they are compliant,” said Guindy. “We are always here to support attorneys and to make sure their financial structure is correct and adheres to all legal requirements.” Guindy added, “We also consult with our clients on some of the tax issues associated with their accounts, and provide input on financial processes that will help them operate their business,” she said.
Guindy remembers working with a younger attorney who left a large firm and chose to start his own legal practice. She offered him some advice about the security of his banking accounts that would prove important years later.
“I remember talking to him about how to safeguard against fraud as it related to his firm’s bank accounts and how vital it was that he never relinquish control of his bank accounts to anyone else,” said Guindy. “I’m not sure at first he understood how important those kinds of safeguards are for a business. Sure enough, I got a call from this client a couple of years later, and he thanked me for the advice because it had saved him from the questionable actions of an employee,” she said.
The banking relationship the Juris team builds with its clients also extends to the attorney’s clients as well. Many times the Juris team has met with individuals who have received large settlements to offer insight on how to safeguard bank accounts, how to set up trust accounts, what to expect from others who learn of the settlement, and to refer them to a financial advisor.
While Bank of Nevada is dedicated to serving the banking needs of those in the legal profession, it is also committed to supporting legal associations around the state. In 2018, Bank of Nevada made the voluntary decision to increase the rate of interest paid on Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts, known as IOLTA funds. By law, the interest on these funds support legal aid organizations that provide assistance to those unable to pay for legal services. Bank of Nevada’s rate increase adds roughly a half-million dollars in additional funds, annually, to legal aid organizations. As a result of Bank of Nevada’s rate increase, several other financial institutions have followed suit.
In recognition of its commitment to Nevada’s legal community, Bank of Nevada received the Medal of Justice Award from the Nevada State Bar in 2019. The prestigious award is one of the many achievements that Guindy is proud to have accomplished with members of the Juris banking team.
“We are so proud of the recognition we received from the Nevada State Bar and from many other legal aid organizations around the state,” said Guindy. “In many ways, it speaks to our core philosophy in taking the banking relationship with attorneys and law firms seriously. It is essential to take the time to find out the needs and business goals of our clients and then assist them in achieving those goals.” Guindy added “It’s an on-going relationship that goes far beyond just getting a client in the door. What we do at Bank of Nevada, and what has made us successful, is that we are focused on creating and sustaining long-term banking relationships.”
If you would like to know more about the Juris banking team and how it can help you achieve your goals in the legal industry, please call Sarah Guindy at (702) 252-6452 or email [email protected].