Getting clients is a lot tougher than they teach you in law school. Clients need to find you, they need a good case, they have to be trustworthy, and except for contingent cases, they have to pay for your services.

There are more ways than ever to make payments, so what are the best options for firms?

Is cash still king?

Cash is great—you know what it is and you have immediate access to it. On the other hand, do you want to keep cash around the office? Do you wait until the end of the week to make deposits or do you head to the bank every time you get a new client? Having a drawer full of cash around the office is usually not the best idea.

Some banks reportedly charge for depositing cash. Not only does it take time, you can actually lose money from cash transactions.

No checks accepted?

Checks do not involve the same security risk as cash. Checks, however, still need to be deposited at your bank. Even worse, most banks require ten days for the funds to clear. If a client needs something done right away, paying by check can severely slow things down.

If you have the time, checks may be a better bet than cash.

Is plastic the way to go?

Credit card companies may charge for processing transactions at your office. On top of that, you need to have a card reader and spend time handling the transaction.

PayPal solves the card reader issue—clients can pay online either before they come in or simply make a payment online while they sit in your office. PayPal does charge a fee for transactions. For transactions under $3,000, the fee is $.30 cents and 2.9% of the transaction. Not chump change by any means.

At the same time, the money is deposited immediately, and there are minimal security risks. If you can live with the processing fee, PayPal is a great option.

(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/steverhode/3080974058)