Financing legal fees is not new. Bar associations have been grappling with the rules around   lawyers accepting a simple financing tool – credit cards – since the 1970’s. Given that cards haven’t been around for that long – and that some states are still grappling with how lawyers can use them* – what happens most often when clients need to finance their legal bill is that lawyers or law firms themselves become the bank. They offer installment payments or financed offerings to their clients in order to enable the clients to pay the firms’ legal bills.