Using the "Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts," all 50 states and the District of Columbia fund client protection programs and other worthy causes. All but a few of these states require you to use this "IOLTA" account to deposit retainers for future legal work or funds you receive for the benefit of your clients or third parties.
To comply, you must visit an approved bank and ask the branch manager or other staff to open what most jurisdictions call an "Attorney Trust Account," "Attorney Escrow Account," or "Clients' Funds Account." Don't be surprised if they give you a blank stare, seem unfamiliar with these accounts, or offer you some other type of "trust" account. As the attorney, you must comply with your state's IOLTA laws and you are responsible for opening the right type of account. If the staff is unwilling to assist you, ask your colleagues for recommendations on a bank that will.
One account should be sufficient to hold all of your clients' funds. You don't need to maintain a separate account for each client.
Once opened, all checks and deposit slips must clearly designate the account as by whatever name may be required in your jurisdiction. Under the IOLTA program, the interest earned will be paid into a designated fund. It is not yours or your clients' to keep. Because client funds may not be used for any purpose other than those for which they were deposited, the bank cannot debit the account for fees, bad check charges or other incidentals. Make sure your bank acts accordingly.