This Retainer Request tutorial will help familiarize you with one of the key features of the Law Ruler billing system. Please note that some firms call this a “Trust Request” but in Law Ruler, asking the client to pay a retainer is referred to as a “Retainer Request”
Law Ruler billing does it all. It is very flexible and can handle billing for any type of firm including contingency, hourly, flat-fee, pro bono, or a mix of them all. This tutorial will only focus on sending a Retainer Request which requires the LawPay integration to be activated. The LawPay setup instructions are included below for your convenience.
- Enable the LawPay Integration for Online Payments to Get Paid Faster
- Getting Started - Open a Case and Send Your First Online Retainer Request
- Manually Depositing/Recording a Retainer Payment
Enable the LawPay Integration for Online Payments to Get Paid Faster
The future is here and accepting payments via credit cards and eChecks (ACH/EFT) is key to maintaining positive cash flow. Candidly, credit cards and eChecks allow your firm to save time during the invoice and collections process and are more of a requirement than a convenience today. Law Ruler proudly supports our integration with the market-leading payment vendor, Law Pay.
To activate the LawPay integration, click on “Setup” and “Billing Settings”
On the “Billing Settings” screen, in the top-right corner, click on the green button to “Activate/Sign in to LawPay”
After clicking this button, you will be asked to enter your LawPay login and password. This is required to activate the integration. Also, please be advised that all credit card and eCheck processing is performed securely in a PCI compliant environment on LawPay’s servers. Law Ruler opens a secure gateway to LawPay and does not store any credit card or eCheck banking information to maintain our PCI compliance. This approach will keep the payment information as secure as possible.
LawPay makes it easy to sign up. If you do not have a LawPay account yet, then click to apply inside of the Law Ruler “Billing Settings” screen. It is important that you do this from inside of Law Ruler so LawPay knows how to process your application. After LawPay approves your account, please come back to this screen and use the instructions above to click on the green button to “Activate/Sign in to LawPay”
Please press “Save” in the top-right corner of the screen after adding your LawPay account.
At this time, your LawPay account will be synced with Law Ruler and you will be able to start sending payment requests for credit card and eCheck transactions to your clients. Enjoy! 💳
Getting Started - Open a Case and Send Your First Retainer Request
Many firms will require a retainer before starting work on a client matter. Law Ruler includes a “Shortcuts” menu that includes many shortcuts including a link to the retainer request process.
Please note that some firms call this a “Trust Request” but in Law Ruler, asking the client to pay a retainer is referred to as a “Retainer Request” If you do not have the LawPay integration activated, then you will not see this “Shortcut”
⚠️ The LawPay integration is required to use “Retainer Requests” since this shortcut will process an online client payment and deposit these funds automatically into the “Client Trust Account” for you.
First, in the “Shortcuts” menu in a case, press the “+ Create New” button, then “New Retainer Request” as shown:
This will open the “Retainer Request” screen:
Then, you will enter the “Retainer Amount” that you would like to be paid by the client into the “Retainer Amount” field. Next, you will click the button for the type of payment that you will be processing. There are three types of online payments requests:
- Pay Now – this will open the payment form and allow you to enter the client’s credit card or eCheck (ACH/EFT) securely for a one-time payment.
- Email Payment Link – this will allow you an opportunity to enter a custom email to the client using your Retainer Request Email Template. A “Pay Retainer” button will be added to the email for you. If you would like to change the Retainer Request Templates, then please go to “Setup” > “Billing Settings” and edit the master template in that screen and press “Save” to update your Law Ruler system with the changes.
- Text Payment Link - this will allow you an opportunity to enter a custom text message to the client using your Retainer Request Text Message Template. A “Pay Retainer” link is included in the text message template.
After the online payment is successfully processed, we will see our “Shortcut” in action! Three things will happen automatically for you:
- a deposit transaction will be recorded for the “Amount Paid”
- the retainer will now be available to be drawn against in the “Available Trust” balance in the case
Screenshot showing that the retainer was paid and accepted by LawPay:
Manually Depositing/Recording a Retainer Payment
First, in the “Shortcuts” menu in a case, press the “+ Create New” button, then “New Deposit” as shown:
This will open up the screen to a “Deposit” transaction. We will manually record/deposit our “Retainer” payment.
Now, we will enter the following:
- Enter the “Amount” of the “Deposit”
- Select the “Bank Account” for the deposit
- Select the “Paid By” as the client that paid your firm
- Select the “Payment Method” as cash, check, wire transfer, ACH/EFT, Other
- Add the “Check/Reference #” if needed
Screenshot showing that the retainer was paid with a “Check” and manually recorded:
The “Retainer Amount” that was deposited will now be available to be drawn against in the “Available Trust” balance in the case if it was deposited in Trust. Otherwise, it will be available in your other account(s) as deposited.
Thank you very much!