Learn about marketing

Get a Quote

Lawyer Marketing Ethical Rules

Oct 13, 2014

The legal industry is one of the few industries out there that have TIGHT regulations when it comes to how they market themselves. There’s an ethical standard which has to be adhered by all lawyers. While every lawyer wants to generate as many cases as possible – they must be done in a manner that is adherent to rules and regulations. Without adhering to these rules, you may find yourself in front of the Bar, answering questions about how/why you broke certain rules.

This is one of the main reasons lawyers choose to work with a lawyer marketing agency, like ourselves. When you work with a specialized company like DotComLegalMarketing, you’re working with experts who understand these rules/regulations, and get the importance of adhering to them.

Self advertising is one of those things that, in the eyes of old school lawyers, is deemed “cheap” and “unprofessional.” Old school lawyers created these set of rules to restrict what lawyers can do, in order to generate new business. The 1908 Canons of Professional set these rules.  These old rules are the ones responsible for the disdain some lawyers have for advertising and marketing themselves.

In 1978, in the US Supreme Court, Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, the ruling was made that that the First Amendment extends to lawyer advertising for fees. It allowed for lawyers to advertise, as long as they do not do it in a manner which is false, or deceptive. Unfortunately, this language is vague, and hence where the confusion can sometimes arise from.

See also  Google Pigeon

When considering marketing or advertising yourself, we generally suggest you stick to verifiable facts based on hard facts. You should not market facts that lean more heavily towards being perceived as an opinion.

Examples of verifiable facts include:

  • Settlements won
  • Total amount of dollars recovered
  • Physical location where you meet clients (this is a problem with lawyers who claim, for advertising reasons, to have more offices than they actually do)

Examples of misleading facts:

  • Calling yourself the “best” law firm – this is purely speculative
  • Spreading incorrect facts (claiming you’ve recovered more money than you truly have)

Irrespective of what you do, it’s smart to stay within the confines of what’s ethically acceptable. If you have any questions about whether or not you’re marketing in an ethical manner, we encourage you to contact us. We can help audit your existing marketing efforts.