Posts

ethical marketing in illinois

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories. If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

  • Relevant Citations: Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (IRPC) of 2010, M.R.P.C. 3140, IRPC 7.1-7.5.
  • Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes
  • Permitted Forms of Marketing
    • Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes
    • Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes
  • Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes
  • Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Retention and Record-keeping Requirement (Y/N): No
  • Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes
  • Date of Last Revision: 2016

Comments:

Illinois has recently revised its Rules of Professional Conduct, and the commentary to the relevant portions of the IRPC show a greater familiarity with and acceptance of digital marketing. See, e.g., Commentary to IRPC 7.2 and 7.3 (expressly authorizing pay-per-click advertisements and limiting attorney-initiated real-time contact with prospective clients).

Illinois mostly follows the MRPC with respect to prohibiting direct solicitation of clients that are not also lawyers, members of the soliciting attorney’s family, or members of the soliciting attorney’s close personal or professional circle. See IRPC 7.3(a). Where Illinois deviates from the rules raises interesting questions for certain digital technologies. Illinois expressly prohibits direct real-time electronic solicitation in a way that may make the use of chatbots on attorney websites tricky. Attorneys who use chatbots may want to include a disclaimer that the chatbot is not intended to be real-time direct contact with a specific consumer and not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. As with all attorney marketing, chatbot content should be clearly marked as advertising content. See IRPC 7.3(c).

Ethical Marketing for Lawyers in the United States

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

Idaho Marketing Rules

  • Relevant Citations: IRPC 7.1-7.6
  • Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes
  • Permitted Forms of Marketing
    • Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes
    • Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes
  • Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes
  • Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Retention and Record-Keeping Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes
  • Date of Last Revision: 2014

Comments

Idaho closely follows the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, with “some Idaho variations.”  IRPC, Preamble.  As with many states, Idaho blocks direct solicitation of clients that are not lawyers, the soliciting attorney’s family, or close friends of the soliciting attorney.  There are no institutional exceptions provided (as is permitted in Connecticut).  See IRPC 7.3(a).   

Attorneys are not restricted as to the platforms they use for advertising or the content therein (as they are in Florida).  See IRPC 7.1, Commentary.

They are required to retain copies of their advertisements and record when and where the advertisements are used. 

With respect to the mandatory language required for ethical attorney advertising in Idaho, all advertisements must include the name and address of at least one lawyer responsible for the content, and must be clearly marked with the words “Advertising Material” (either on the outside of written advertising or at the beginning and end of recorded advertising).  See IRPC 7.1(d) and 7.3(c). 

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, as well as in the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

  • Relevant Citations: HI RPC 7.1-7.5
  • Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes
  • Permitted Forms of Marketing
    • Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes
    • Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes
  • Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes
  • Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Retention and Record-Keeping Requirement (Y/N): No
  • Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes
  • Date of Last Revision: 2014

Comments:

Hawaii follows the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) fairly closely, and therefore its Rules of Professional Conduct (HI RPC) require little explanation (in contrast to states like Florida and Connecticut).  Hawaii prohibits direct contact with prospective clients except for close friends, family, and former clients.  See HI RPC 7.3(a).  Hawaii also permits all forms of marketing and advertising, provided – as warned in Comment 1 to HI RPC 7.3 – that the ability to directly and personally engage with potential clients via email, social media, and other platforms does not venture into “undue influence, intimidation, and over-reaching.”  (This, as might be expected, would be determined on a case-by-case basis.)

Hawaii requires that all marketing and advertising include the name of at least one lawyer responsible for the content and requires that all ads include “advertising material” at their beginning and end.  See HI RPC 7.3(c).  Additionally, attorneys using direct mail and email marketing would be wise to have clearly identified opt-out and unsubscribe options.  See HI RPC 7.3(b)(1). 

Hawaii allows law firms to be branded with trade names, including names of only deceased former partners of their law firm, provided that the name of a managing partner is kept on file with the Hawaii State Bar.  See HI RPC 7.5(b).  As with many other states, Hawaii prohibits the use of a public official’s name in a firm’s name when that public official is not actively practicing with the firm.  See HI RPC 7.5(d). 

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

  • Relevant Citations: Del. RPC 7.1–7.6; 8.4(e)
  • Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes
  • Permitted Forms of Marketing
    • Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes
    • Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes, with caution
    • PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes
  • Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes
  • Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Retention and Record-Keeping Requirement (Y/N): No
  • Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes
  • Date of Last Revision: 2013

Comments:

Delaware follows the Model Rules relatively closely and has minimal restrictions on attorney advertising. Direct contact with prospective clients is prohibited other than with lawyers, past clients, family (sorry, relatives of Delaware attorneys), past clients, and those with personal relationships with the attorney. See Del. RPC 7.3.

Delaware attorneys are allowed to use all forms of traditional and digital marketing, from direct mailers to PPC advertisements on Google. However, attorneys must include an opt-out provision for their advertisements. See Del. RPC 7.3(b)(1). The commentary to Del. RPC 7.3 cautions that, even without a formal opting out, sending multiple communications to a party without a response from that party may violate Del. RPC 7.3(b)(1). For this reason, Delaware attorneys need to make sure that the email marketing system they are using, if any, is taking recipients off their mailing list when they are not interacting with their emails (this is a good practice, in general, as it avoids the potential of an email address being listed as a spam address). All advertisements – unless follow-up communications with potential clients – should be marked as “advertising material” in accordance with Del. RPC 7.3(c), whether on the outside of a mailer or at the beginning and end of an email marketing newsletter. Unsurprisingly, no advertisement should include claims of an ability to improperly influence the outcome of a government decision. See Del. RPC 7.4(e).

Delaware allows attorneys to use non-surname branding, provided, of course, it does not imply a connection with a government or non-profit organization. See Del. RPC 7.5. As with other states, Delaware prohibits the use of the surname of an individual holding public office in a law firm name unless that individual is actively practicing with the firm. See Del. RPC 7.5(c).

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

  • Relevant Citations: Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1-7.5 (“CT RPC”); Connecticut Superior Court Rules 2-28A, also known as the Connecticut Practice Book § 2-28A (“Ct. Prac. Bk.”) (the CT RPC are contained within the Ct. Prac. Bk., both of which can be found at State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Connecticut Practice Book (last visited Dec. 12, 2018) (direct link to PDF); Connecticut General Statutes (“CGS”) § 51-86; CGS § 51-87; CGS § 51-87A; CGS §53-340A
  • Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes, in part.
  • Permitted Forms of Marketing
    • Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes
    • Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes
    • PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes
  • Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes
  • Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Retention and Record-Keeping Requirement (Y/N): Yes
  • Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes
  • Date of Last Revision: 2014

Comments:

Before delving into the substantive restrictions on attorney advertising in Connecticut, it is worth addressing the structure of Connecticut’s laws concerning attorney advertising.  Connecticut incorporates civil and criminal limitations on advertising for legal practices in both its statutes and Court Rules, with discrepancies between the two for disciplinary matters.  See Office of Legal Research, Connecticut General Assembly Report 2006-R-0577, Attorney Discipline (Oct. 20, 2006) (viewed at https://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/rpt/2006-R-0577.htm).  In what is never a good sign for clear and unambiguous regulations, the state’s legislative office in charge of legal research reported that the reason the Court Rules were controlling when discrepancies existed between them and the statutes was not because of a governing decision or statute addressing controversies of law, but rather because “in practice, the rules are followed.“  Ibid. (It might just be time for the Connecticut legislature to eliminate those laws superseded by the Rules of Professional Conduct.)  Per the guidance of the Office of Legal Research, it will be the “practice” to focus on the Rules of Professional Conduct, as incorporated into the Connecticut Practice Book by the Connecticut Judiciary. 

Connecticut prevents attorneys from directly soliciting clients, for the most, when those clients are private citizens and not also friends, family, or former clients.  See CT RPC 7.3(a).  However, Connecticut permits direct solicitation of a wide range of institutional clients, including non-profits, trade organizations, and for-profit businesses.  See id. This makes sense, as public policy’s desire to protect private individuals from manipulative legal solicitations is no longer served when addressing solicitations directed at organizations that often have sophisticated officers, to include their own attorneys.

Consistent with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Connecticut permits attorneys to advertise across all traditional and electronic mediums, and the commentary to the Rules of Professional Conduct even describes more advanced forms of digital advertising, such as PPC and in-app advertisements.  See CT RPC 7.2(a) and commentary.  Due to Connecticut’s record retention and filing requirements (which will be discussed below), however, attorneys must ensure that some form of record remains for all advertisements that they can submit for filing (sorry, early adopters, that means no disappearing content marketing on Snapchat).

In Connecticut, advertisements must include the name and address of at least one lawyer admitted in Connecticut responsible for the content of the advertisement, along with language addressing contingency fee details.  All advertising should be marked as “‘Advertising Material’ in red ink on the first page of any written communication and the lower left corner of the outside envelope or container, if any, and at the beginning and ending [sic] of any communication by audio or video recording or other electronic means.”  CT RPC 7.3(c). 

Connecticut requires that attorneys retain records of their advertisements, along with a record of when and where used for three years.  See CT RPC 7.2(b)(1).  Additionally, attorneys must comply with the mandatory filing requirements imposed by Section 2-28A of the Connecticut Superior Court Rules, which requires attorneys to submit their advertisements to the Connecticut Attorney Grievance Committee prior to or at the same time as an advertisement is first used.  Connecticut includes a procedure where the State Bar Counsel randomly selects advertisements for an audit or review procedure.

 

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

• Relevant Citations: Colo. RPC 7.1-7.6

• Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes. Direct contact permitted only via regular mail and only for other lawyers and for the soliciting lawyer’s family. See Colo. RPC 7.1 and 7.3.

• Permitted Forms of Marketing

• Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes

• Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes

• Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes. See Colo. RPC 7.2(c), which states that attorney advertisements must include the name and office address of at least one responsible lawyer or law firm.

• Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes. See Colo. RPC 7.3(b)(1).

• Retention and Record-Keeping Requirement (Y/N): No

• Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes, in part. Colorado prohibits the use of the names of public office holders in law firm names unless the holders of public office are practicing with the firm. See Colo. RPC 7.5(c).

• Date of Last Revision: April 12, 2018. See Colo. RPC 9.

Comments:

Other than noting a provision prohibiting law practices from obtaining public appointments via officials to whom they made campaign contributions, there is little to say about the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. See Colo. RPC 7.6. The Colo. RPCs are short and sweet, fairly closely following the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Perhaps that’s a bit of burnout after the morass that was California, or perhaps it indicates areas of concern.

One area of concern may be in how the rules are written broadly, allowing for potential disputes concerning the intent behind the rules. For example, Colo. RPC 7.2 provides that attorneys may use all forms of “written, recorded, and electronic communication, including public media.” Colo. RPC 7.2(a) (it should be noted that this is a change from the model rules, which allow advertising across all mediums). No definition is provided in the Supreme Court Commentary to the rules as to what consititutes “public media,” nor are common questions answered about the content of the advertisement, other than the general prohibitions about false and misleading statements. While other jurisdictions address questions regarding the use of client testimonials, celebrity spokespersons and endorsements, mandatory use of language in the content of advertising, and the like (for example, see how detailed California and Arizona go in treating the content of advertisements, going so far as to regulate the style of text used in print advertisements). This may mean that Colorado is more flexible in how the courts can regulate attorney conduct, using broader rules open to more interpretation to handle attorney behavior, but it also means that attorneys have less specific guidance for knowing how to comply with the rules.

 

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

• Relevant Citations: Cal. RPC §§ 7.1-7.5; Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 6150–6159.2; Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17000 et seq

BPC §§ 6150-6156 (solicitation);

BPC §§ 6157-6159.2 (advertising).

BPC, §§ 17000 et seq. While the RPC specifically reference BPC §§ 17000 et seq. (Unfair Trade Practices) there are no specific provisions in that law applicable to attorneys as to advertising for their legal practices.

• Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes

• Permitted Forms of Marketing

• Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes

• Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes, in part. Direct solicitation of clients (except those not fitting within the limited familial exception) is prohibited, but the RPC does not prohibit general emails providing information to a subscribing audience. See RPC 7.3(b) and (e).

• PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes

• Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes. Unless a communication is apparent by its nature to be an advertisement, it must be marked as such on the outside of the writing or at the beginning and end of the electronic communication. See RPC 7.3(c). Additionally, all advertising must include the name and address of one lawyer or the law firm responsible for the advertisement. See RPC 7.2(c).

• Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes See RPC 7.3(b)(1).

• Retention and Record Keeping Requirement (Y/N): Yes (1 Year). See BPC § 6159.1

• Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes

• Date of Last Revision: 2018 (RPC); 2006 (BPC §§ 6150-6156); 1994 (BPC §§ 6157-6159.2) 1941 (BPC §§ 17000-17101).

Comments:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, California is uniquely intensive in its regulation of the practice of law in general and advertising related to the practice of law, specifically. However, it is not well organized in its regulation, with some parts of the regulation occurring in the Rules of Professional Conduct, others in attorney-focused regulations within the California Business and Professional Code (“BPC”), and lastly others in the unfair competition portion of the BPC. See Cal. RPC §§ 7.1 et al.; BPC §§ 6157-6159.2.; and, BPC §§ 17000-17101.

California criminalizes direct solicitation at hospitals, jails, and other specified facilities. See BPC § 6152. It also provides for specific rules concerning the use of dramatization in attorney advertising, prohibiting the use of actors portraying an attorney, a client (without disclosure that the client is being portrayed by an actor), or the use of a celebrity spokesperson without disclosure of that celebrity’s title. See BPC § 6157.2 (truly, this is a missed opportunity for the Kardashians). Additionally, not only does California have a rather common prohibition against false and misleading advertising, it flips the burden of proof with respect to advertising, creating a rebuttable presumption that all advertising is false or misleading, with certain exceptions as to content. See BPC §§ 6157.1 and 6158 (with respect to advertising on the internet) and BPC § 6158.1 (with respect to the evidentiary presumption at trial).

 

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

• Relevant Citations: AR. Rules 7.1-7.5

• Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): No, in part.

• Permitted Forms of Marketing

• Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes

• Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes, in part.

• PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes

• Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes

• Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes

• Retention and Record Keeping Requirement (Y/N): Yes

• Non-Surname Branding (Y/N): Yes

• Date of Last Revision: 2005

Comments:

Arkansas is liberal in what it allows with respect to direct communication with potential clients. Written communications with “anyone known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter by written communication” are permitted provided that the writing be sent by regular US Mail, marked as “ADVERTISEMENT” on the envelope and all pages within, provide an opportunity for the recipient to send complaints regarding the advertisement, and sent no sooner than 30 days after the death of a relevant party in death cases. See Ar. Rules 7.3(b). However, the Arkansas Supreme Court prohibits direct real time electronic solicitation. Based on this prohibition, Arkansas permits generic email marketing, but not individualized email marketing.

Arkansas requires a record of all advertisements used kept on file for five years, along with a listing of all platforms in which the advertisement was published. All advertisements must include a name of one of the responsible attorneys, the geographic location of the law firm promulgating the advertisement, and cannot include clients. Arkansas prohibits the use of dramatizations, and requires disclosures if actors are used in advertisements. (I question how productive it would be to use actors if dramatizations are prohibited.)

If you are interested in developing a coherent, strategic approach to marketing your business, or if you just have a few questions you need answered about digital marketing, I’m happy to help.  We can set up a time at your convenience to go over your questions and concerns.  I promise it won’t feel like a pitch for a used car or a time share, and, no matter what, you will walk away with marketing intelligence you can use.  Here’s a link to my schedule if you want to set something up.

 

This post is part of the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing, a series of posts (and eventually an eBook) that provides attorneys with a summary of key ethical rules for marketing across all fifty states, and the US territories.  If you want to be notified when your jurisdiction is covered, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter covering updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

• Relevant Citations: A.R.S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 42, Rules of Prof. Conduct, Rule 42, ER 7.1-7.5. The official version of these rules are available at Thompson-Reuters and the State Bar of Arizona (both last visited December 3, 2018).

• Limitations on Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Y/N): Yes

• Permitted Forms of Marketing

• Traditional Media (Y/N): Yes

• Inbound Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Social Media Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• Email Marketing (Y/N): Yes

• PPC Advertising (Y/N): Yes

• Mandatory Language (Y/N): Yes

• Opt-Out Requirement (Y/N): Yes

• Retention and Record-Keeping Requirement (Y/N): Yes

• Non-Surname Branding: Yes (with exceptions detailed below)

• Date of Last Revision: 2018

Comments:

All advertising must have the name and contact information for at least one attorney responsible for the advertisement. All advertising should be marked as “Advertising Material” in a font twice the size of the body text of the advertisement and at the beginning and end of electronic advertisements. If a contract is included with the advertising, it must be watermarked as a sample contract. A copy of all print advertisements must be mailed to the State Bar of Arizona. Print advertisements and permitted solicitations can only be mailed using “regular” US mail, not registered mail, to avoid the appearance of being related to litigation.

Arizona has a unique rule regarding the use of names for law firms. When an attorney who works for or otherwise has an interest in a law firm also holds public office, that attorney’s name cannot be used in the name of the law firm or in communications on behalf of that law firm. See ER 7.5(c) (in many states, this prohibition exists only where the attorney does not practice with the firm).

Beginning this week, I will be publishing a series of posts that summarize the legal rules that govern attorney marketing. This series came out of working with a client that wanted to market his law firm aggressively but was afraid the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct tied his hands. In June 2018, I prepared a guide for Washington lawyers on how they could engage in effective marketing yet still comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct. My guide was part of helping him understand that he had a lot of leeway in how he approached marketing and branding his business.

After writing the guide, I became intrigued by the question of how legislatures and courts regulated attorney marketing in the US, where there were critical differences in marketing rules across the states, and whether there were trends in attorney marketing regulations. (As you may expect, finding that sort of thing intriguing doesn’t exactly make me exciting company at a cocktail party.)  This project came out of those questions, and I hope it will help law firms asking the same questions as my client was back in the summer of 2018.

What to Expect

Each post provides a “baseball card” of sorts to lawyers looking for a quick reference on the rules governing how they can market their legal practice. It provides an easy-to-reference link to the governing law (well, laws, in the case of California), and quickly answers the following questions:

  • Can I directly reach out to potential clients in my jurisdiction?
  • Can I use traditional print, radio, and television marketing in my jurisdiction?
  • Can I use inbound marketing in my jurisdiction?
  • Can I use social media marketing in my jurisdiction?
  • Can I use pay-per-click advertising on either search engines or social media sites in my jurisdiction?
  • Do I need to include special language in attorney advertising?
  • Do I need to have an “opt-out” provision for people that don’t want to see my law firm’s ads?
  • Do I need to keep a copy of my ads for a particular length of time?
  • Do I need to use my last name as the name of my law firm, or can I make it something more memorable and appealing to clients? (As someone who grew up with a Polish surname that people found difficult to pronounce, let alone spell, I can understand this desire.)

When appropriate, each post will also provide a short commentary addressing common pitfalls and concerns related to attorney advertising.

Why Publish This Guide

As a former litigator, I understand that while any attorney worth their license could do this research themselves, they find themselves swamped with a million different responsibilities for clients to occupy their billable hours. As a result, a lot of attorneys neglect the marketing of their legal practice because it is just one more thing to do; worse, it is one more thing that happens to be rife with ethical pitfalls and compliance issues.

Marketing in highly regulated professions is a niche in which I specialize. I enjoy the challenge of combining my legal knowledge with my experience in creating psychologically compelling content that persuades people to take action. If you are interested in developing a coherent, strategic approach to marketing your business, or if you have a few questions you need answered about digital marketing, I’m happy to help. We can set up a time at your convenience to go over your questions and concerns. I promise it won’t feel like a pitch for a used car or a timeshare, and, no matter what, you will walk away with marketing intelligence you can use. Here’s a link to my schedule if you want to set something up.

Where to Find Other Posts in this Series

I plan on covering all fifty states and will include analysis and commentary as well. I will collect these posts in the Attorney’s Guide to Ethical Marketing during the process of creating this series, and then release them as a standalone eBook at its conclusion. If you want to be notified when I cover your jurisdiction, subscribe to The Dead Drop, my monthly newsletter has updates from this site and beyond on marketing, law, and the psychology of persuasion.

Jurisdictions Covered

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Territories
    • American Samoa
    • District of Columbia
    • Guam
    • Northern Mariana Island
    • Puerto Rico
    • United States Virgin Islands
  • Relevant Federal Regulations
  • Comparison with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and ABA Guidance