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Gopayment vs. Square vs. Paypal



I just recently joined and read all the helpful information on starting a practice.  I will practice landlord & tenant law in New York City.  I am currently looking for a shared space to also get per diem work before I get clients.


I would love your opinions on methods of payment.  I am building my blog now, and I will accept paypal via the blog.  However, I read about credit card scanners that permit small business earners to use their smartphone/tablet to accept credit cards.  Intuit has the GoPayment version, and another is called Square.


Has anyone tried these for their law practice?  I believe these will help clients pay on time.


Awaiting your response,



  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    I have Square, but I never use it. I prefer to use my credit card merchant service (Authorize.Net, in my case).

    Check out this thread, as well: http://lawyeristlab.com/forum/practice-management/accepting-credit-cards/
  • We went with Law Pay (lawpay.com) which has the added benefit of working with Clio. Started off with SquareUp, but it is not real friendly with my wife's Android phone.


    Law Pay appears to be more attorney friendly then most and recommended by some bar associations. Hope this helps.
  • The first question would be whether you are going to be accepting payments into a trust account. If so, you really should explore something like LawPay, as it will have payments deposited in your trust and fees deducted from your operating account. There are three services that I know of like this – I went with LawPay, as it seemed the best fit for me. note that I’m not sure about it’s smartphone card swiping capabilities, although I manually process payments on my phone constantly.

    Just thought of something else. Another benefit of LawPay is the ability to have a personalized payment link on your website. This is one of the features I really liked, and you can check it out on my site if you want.

    If you are depositing fees only after they are earned, something like square or intuit’s service would work fine for you. Just keep an eye out for the rates on those services.

    Jonathan E. Moody
  • Thank you Jonathand and Greg.  It seems like the vote results say Lawpay.  I appreciate your response since I wasn't even thinking about that service.


    All the best!

  • Adam LillyAdam Lilly Cumming, Georgia
    I use Square. The swipe-ability impresses some clients, there's no fixed fee (meaning you only pay if you use it), and 2.75% swiping rate seems reasonable - especially when you consider that there's no monthly fee. So far, it's been great. When I eventually (read: hopefully) get to a higher average monthly intake, it may be more fiscally sound to switch to another service, but right now I think this is the best rate I'll get, and it's very convenient. 
  • Square is great for occasional use.  Highly recommend for those not ready to commit to monthly fees associated with more robust service.
  • Thomas and Adam make a great point!  I may not have a need for the monthly service yet since I am just starting out.  I can always switch to LawPay later when more clients pay by credit card.  
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Yes, with the important caveat that you cannot take advances (i.e., money that will be deposited into your trust account) via Square, PayPal, or most regular merchant accounts.
  • Adam LillyAdam Lilly Cumming, Georgia
    It's my understanding that most bars are ok if you accept the payment into your operating account, so long as you transfer it to the trust account as soon as is practical. However, it seems that most systems (I believe Law Pay may be an exception) would have a problem there, as the fees deducted would mean that the amount available for transfer wouldn't be the full amount to be held in trust. Part of what I love about it when fees are earned on receipt. 
  • I just switched to LawPay from my bank's merchant account service and will save several hundred dollars a year as a result. 


    My practice is primarily contingent fee, so LawPay offers another advantage: often, I take a "refundable retainer" that I return to the client after we settle the case and I take my one-third contingency. I can do that on LawPay by refunding money right to their credit card (if they want).


    As others have mentioned, LawPay is good because the deposits go to the client trust account but the fees come out of the operating account - no chance of running afoul of your state's ethical rules for client funds. 


    The fee for the level of service I chose is $20 per month and 2.14 percent, I believe.


  • Thank you Greg, Johnathan, and Jamie for the LawPay mention. Johnathan I noticed you have one of our original personalized payment link. We have since upgraded our look and feel at no extra cost. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about our new enhancements. Here are some examples of the the enhanced personalized payment link on law firm websites.


    Amy Porter
    LawPay, CEO


  • tetonattorneytetonattorney Jackson, WY
    edited May 2014

    Jamie - wow the lawpay fee really came down... I thought it was 3.5 percent paid by the client. Huh. I'll check it out.

  • kentwrobertsonkentwrobertson United States

    Louisiana will not allow paypal, even if it goes directly into your IOLTA. Something about having to go directly from client to IOLTA, with no intermediaries. Credit cards are OK directly into IOLTA. Splitting hairs to me. In any case, client can never be charged a processing fee.

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