Best Benefit Ever: Specialized Credit Card Processing

The American Bar Association offers a new option for lawyers struggling with how best to handle the complexities of accepting credit cards in the legal field.

What’s the benefit? As part of the American Bar Association’s Advantage discounts program, the legal group is offering its members access to LawPay, a credit card processing service designed specifically for legal professionals. The association announced the new benefit last week.

Why it works for them: Developed with the input of several bar association partners, the LawPay service allows access to different kinds of payment systems, including Square-style mobile payments and more formalized merchant payments. But most important, the service is designed specifically to comply with the profession’s rules about handling funds. “In order to stay in compliance with the guidelines of the American Bar Association and most state bars for accepting … credit cards, a merchant account must correctly separate earned and unearned fees into operating and trust accounts to prevent the commingling of funds,” Amy Porter, CEO of AffiniPay, provider of the LawPay service, explained in a 2011 ABA article. “In addition, a compliant merchant account should enable an attorney to designate which account should be used for withdrawals of all processing fees.”

Other benefits: The ABA offers a variety of other membership perks through its Advantage program, including discounts on office supplies, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard computers, banking services, car rentals, and secure cloud-computing services from Box.

The ABA isn’t the only legal group that’s a fan of LawPay—the company boasts recommendations from 39 state and 49 local bar associations.