How Experienced Bankers and Tailored Solutions Can Help Your Law Practice

May 02, 2017

A successful law firm endeavors to reach a balance of work the partners want, clients they like and want to help, and the right compensation that makes the time and energy spent worthwhile. On top of it all, the lawyers leading the firm need to have keen insight into the best practices of law firm management to ensure the firm survives and thrives year after year.

Because all banking needs are not created equal, it’s important to find a banking resource with the right mix of experience and customized product solutions for the legal profession. 

For example, different practice areas and different cases mean different cash flow situations.  Plaintiff attorneys defending individuals in debt collection lawsuits may require payment at the start of the case, in order to cover many trial costs and depositing the money into their cash flow cycle. But a trial attorney dealing with a complex personal injury suit has their hands bound until the check arrives after settlement – which, of course, could take months or even years.

This is why attorneys should seek out a bank with expertise in banking for law firms to help keep their practices running smoothly. While many banks offer similar basic services – treasury management, lines of credit, credit cards and more – a bank that lacks experience with law firms might not be able to provide creative solutions specifically tailored to your industry. It makes sense to select an expert with prior specialized experience – the same way selecting an experienced lawyer makes the most sense for your clients.

Picture your firm in the middle of a long-term case, generating receivables and billing hours. You may be stuck in months of litigation with many trial-related costs: expert witness costs, administrative costs and court filing fees, to name only a few demands on your resources.

Law firms certainly have other equally demanding needs, from working capital to funding partner-related buy-outs and more.

But no matter the details of your practice – whether you specialize in civil litigation, family law or corporate contracts – a bank well versed in customizing a line of credit that reflects your cash flow and working capital needs can be a valuable resource. Of course, banks with a desire to work with law firms also should offer the array of settlement, escrow and IOLTA accounts utilized by legal professionals.

It’s important to consider what challenges are at the core of your day-to-day business processes to help you find the right business bank. Banks with strong ties to the legal community are knowledgeable about the nature of the industry’s internal economy, changing regulations and opportunities. These financial institutions may offer continuing education for you and your associates, donate to legal nonprofits, and on a client-service level, regularly pursue opportunities to learn more about your specific business and operations.

As you seek out a responsive and expert banking resource, assemble the evidence with experience in mind. The best part of this discovery process should be finding a banker who already knows the legal ropes, and demonstrates the commitment to learning about and meeting your firm’s precise financial needs.

In Northern Nevada, First Independent Bank is well positioned to meet the demands of the region’s law firms. As a locally-focused bank with sizable experience in the legal industry, First Independent Bank has been a valuable resource for the law community—supporting firms through every stage of their financial plans. Get in touch with us today.

About Us

First Independent Bank

First Independent Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, delivers relationship banking that puts clients at the center of everything. Founded in 1999, First Independent Bank offers a full spectrum of tailored commercial banking solutions delivered with outstanding service. With offices in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Fallon, First Independent Bank is part of Western Alliance Bancorporation, which has more than $70 billion in assets. Major accolades include being ranked as a top U.S. bank in 2023 by American Banker and Bank Director. As a regional bank with significant national capabilities, First Independent Bank delivers the reach, resources and local market expertise that make a difference for customers.