This Standard Business Process (SBP) covers incoming payments Columbia Law School (CLS) receives via ACH Direct Deposit and Bank Wire Transfer for reimbursements to and fees for services provided by CLS. This SBP does not cover how CLS receives payments of gifts or awards of sponsored projects. Receiving payments of gifts and awards of sponsored projects follow an entirely different SBP; the receipt of gifts and/or sponsored projects is processed by the central administration of Columbia University, not by CLS.

Locating and Claiming Incoming Payment

For CLS, to locate and claim an incoming payment, the following three conditions must be met:

  1. all payers include the REF in the payment instructions
  2. all payers provide an electronic copy of their bank’s payment confirmation to their CLS contact
  3. CLS contact forwards the electronic copy of the payer’s bank’s payment confirmation together with an electronic copy of the original invoice to bank.deposit@law.columbia.edu

Please know that the Business Office cannot claim or apply funds without the respective REF line on the payment instruction, without an electronic copy of the payer’s bank’s payment confirmation, or without an electronic copy of the original invoice.

Checks must be made payable to Columbia University. Please complete Step 1 and Step 2 of the Check Deposit Form to deposit up to 10 checks at a time. Be sure to sign your name at the bottom of the form and submit to the Business Office with the checks enclosed. 

Departments are strongly encouraged to submit checks as soon as possible, well within 30 days of the check date. Checks deemed stale will not be accepted and will be returned. In the event a check is returned by the bank, we will notify you. Please be advised that all gifts or donations are processed through the Development Office.


All reimbursement or fee for service requests to CLS are made by invoice. All invoices must include the full payment instructions for CLS' bank account at JPM Chase. All payment instructions must include a reference line called REF that lists the invoice #. All invoices must include the following:

  • Full address of payer
  • Contact person at payer: name, email address, and phone #
  • Date
  • Type of payment invoiced for (Reimbursement or Fee for Service)
  • Invoice #
  • Amount
  • REF in payment instructions: LAW Invoice #