Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: The Five Things Lawyers Need in an Online Payment Solution

It always pays to do a little research before making a purchase to ensure you find the right product to address your needs—especially if said purchase is going towards your business. Payment solutions are no exception. There’s a wide world of them to choose from, but they’re not all ideal for legal professionals like you. Here, we’ll examine five essential features you should keep an eye out for when shopping around for an online payments processor.

  1. Tailor-made, just for law firms

A lot of online payment solutions bill themselves as a one-size-fits-all product that can suit the needs of any business. However, this is a bit of a misnomer—in reality, most of these products work best for retail stores, restaurants, and hospitality businesses, as these are the most common businesses in the country. You’ll likely find that these payment solutions have features, functions, and price points that would suit these businesses perfectly.

You’re a law firm, though. You’re not selling a product—you’re providing a complex, valuable professional service. A typical paper receipt wouldn’t properly convey the type of work you do for your clients, and doesn’t convey the full value of the professional services you provide.

This is why specialized payment solutions are the best fit for law firms like yours. Instead of trying to build a product that pleases everyone, these companies instead hire industry experts to design their product specifically for the legal industry. For instance, they’ll know how important it is to protect your IOLTA account from third-party debiting, as well as keeping your earned and unearned fees separated with each transaction. Plus, their products often integrate with other legal software that you use everyday, allowing you to keep your work organized in one place.

  1. Allows for both invoiced and in-person payments

In the modern world, online credit card payments have quickly become the most popular way for consumers to pay. To put a number on it—74 percent of households with an internet connection prefer to pay their bills online with their favorite connected devices.

Despite this, not all payment processors are designed with this functionality in mind. Many of them are still designed solely for in-person transactions, with online payments as a tacked-on afterthought (if it’s even offered at all). While these solutions can serve consumers more used to traditional methods, they’re missing a key emerging demographic.

Rather than settle for one or the other, your best bet is look for a payment processor that will let you do both—send online payment requests that your clients can pay on the go, or take credit card payments through a card reader in your office. While online payments will likely benefit your firm the most, you may sometimes have a need to process payments in person, such as working with a client who many not be as tech savvy as others.

  1. Simpler fee structure for better account reconciliation

There’s no avoiding it—using a credit card processor means you’ll have to pay for fees on each transaction. For many payment solutions, these fees are debited as soon as a transaction is received. This may sound like a reasonable deal, but it can make reconciling your accounts an absolute nightmare. With every transaction in your history, you’ll have to take into account the amount you’ve billed with the amount displayed (which will include your processing fee). Why add extra work to your busy day?

Your best bet is to use a payment processor that will debit all of your fees on a single day rather than individually from each transaction. This way, you’ll see 100 percent of each payment in your transaction history, and can view your total processing fees as a separate charge each month. The result? Much simpler account reconciliation each month, which means more time spent serving clients.

  1. Detailed transaction history and reporting

Speaking of reconciliation, the right reporting tools can make all the difference when choosing an online payment provider. Not only does this information let you balance your books properly, but it can also provide valuable insights in fostering your firm’s success. Of course, this is another area where not all payment processors are created equal.

The best payment solutions for lawyers will let you run detailed reports on your transactions, letting you filter them by time frame or the status of the payment. These solutions also make it easy to view your top clients by volume, payment trends, and even export your payment history in whichever format you prefer. In contrast, most payment providers will have metrics tracking gift cards or cash drawer history—stats that might appeal to a point-of-sale business, but a professional service firm like yours will have no interest in.

  1. Pricing without gimmicks

Between the various different interchange rates, processing fees and codes to decipher, online payments systems can sound incredibly complicated. The last thing you want is to spend more time figuring out the fee structures of your processor than you do on billable hours.

Thankfully, there are payment processors that are not only competitive in the rates they offer, but also transparent in their pricing. Choose a payment processor with no hidden fees, no minimum processing requirements, and no long-term contractual obligations. Payment p

rocessors for professional service firms will let you easily forecast and budget for your expenses by keeping their rates straightforward and easy to understand.

Want to learn why LawPay is the #1 online payments solution for law firms? Download our Solution Brochure today!

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Posted inGuest BlogState BarTexas Lawyers' Assistance ProgramTLAP

Stories of Recovery: A ‘drowning man’ finds hope

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2014, as part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery blog series. TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) and find more information at tlaphelps.org. Continue Reading

Posted inLocal BarsNewsPeople

DBA elects first Hispanic president

The Dallas Bar Association, or DBA, recently elected Laura Benitez Geisler, of the Geisler Law Firm, to serve as president in 2019. Upon being sworn in on January 12, Geisler will be the first Hispanic member of the DBA to serve as president.

Laura Benitez Geisler

Geisler currently serves as board adviser to the DBA’s Lawyer Referral Service Committee and to the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property Law Sections. She was elected chair of the board in 2015. Geisler was co-chair of the 2014-2015 Equal Access to Justice Campaign and received a DBA Presidential Citation in 2016. Geisler first served on the board of directors in 2007 in her capacity as Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, or DAYL, president.

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Posted inNewsState Bar

State Bar offices to close Wednesday

State Bar of Texas offices will be closed Wednesday in recognition of a statewide day of mourning in honor of former President George H.W. Bush.

Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Monday encouraging all Texans “to gather, assemble, and pay their respects to the memory of George Herbert Walker Bush through ceremonies in homes, businesses, public buildings, schools, places of worship, or other appropriate places for public expression of grief and remembrance.”

Posted inNews

In Memoriam – November

The State Bar of Texas’ Membership Department was informed in November 2018 of the deaths of these members. We join the officers and directors of the State Bar in expressing our deepest sympathy.

Virgil H. Barfield, 82, of Houston, died August 23, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970.
Jeanne Babette Barrows, 56, of Waxahachie, died September 13, 2017. She received her law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1995.
Billie J. Bell, 77, of Royse City, died November 9, 2018. He received his law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971. Continue Reading

Posted inMust-ReadsNews

Texas Bar Journal Must-Reads for December

Can’t wait to cap off another year with the Texas Bar Journal? Neither can we. Take a look at our editorial staff’s picks for the December issue. This month’s theme: equality in the workplace . And don’t forget to check out Disciplinary Actions, Memorials, and Movers and Shakers.
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Posted inNews

Texas’ newest attorneys sworn in

The Texas Supreme Court and State Bar of Texas welcomed newly licensed attorneys at the New Lawyer Induction ceremony November 19 at the Frank Irwin Center in Austin.

Members of the Texas’ highest courts, deans from the state’s law schools, State Bar and Texas Board of Law Examiners officials, and friends and family watched as hundreds of law school graduates took the Lawyer’s Oath Monday morning. Continue Reading

Posted inNewsVeterans

Free legal clinic for veterans in Katy

The free clinic, which takes place December 8 at the Katy VA Outpatient Clinic, will offer veterans, or spouses of deceased veterans, one-on-one advice and counsel from volunteer attorneys in areas of law including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, and real estate and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits.

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Posted inNews

Texas Access to Justice Foundation wraps up Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, wraped up Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week, a statewide effort to provide legal aid to qualified veterans, on Saturday, November 17. The weeklong event brought legal aid programs, local bar associations, law schools, and pro bono attorneys together to offer free legal services in civil legal matters, including:

1. Denial of critical medical care;
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3. Legal issues related to disabilities;
4. Family law matters arising from deployment; and
5. Other issues that may arise due to a veteran’s absence from home during military service. Continue Reading

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