Advertising is Marketing. Solicitation is Sales.
Lawyers are bound by strict ethical guidelines when it comes to marketing their legal services. Rule 7.3 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct regulates the direct solicitation of clients through advertising and marketing. Violating this rule can result in serious disciplinary consequences for the lawyer and their law firm.
Here are 10 ways lawyers violate ethics Rule 7.3, “Client Solicitation”:
- Contacting prospective clients without a prior relationship
- Using coercive language in their marketing outreach
- Offering inducements to persuade a prospect to hire them
- Using false or misleading information in marketing or advertising materials
- Making guarantees or promises regarding the outcome of a case
- Soliciting prospects in courtrooms or other locations where they may feel vulnerable
- Sending prospects unsolicited communications
- Failing to include required information, e.g. their name and contact information
- Failing to label marketing outreach appropriately as advertising material
- Violating their state’s bar regulations―the ABA Model Rules are simply advisory. Their license depends on their obeying the specific rules in the state(s) in which they’re licensed.
In conclusion, lawyers must be careful to comply with Rule 7.3 when advertising and marketing their legal services. Violating this rule can result in serious consequences for both the lawyer and their law firm. By carefully understanding and avoiding common mistakes, lawyers can ensure that their advertising and marketing efforts are ethical, effective, and in compliance with the law.
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