Marketing Ethics and How to Legally Ignore the Rules (Part B)

Fight For Your Legal Advertising Rights

When developing new lawyer advertising materials and legal marketing campaigns, you may have to do some fighting of your own to get everything approved. Luckily, you're a lawyer, and arguing your case is what you do for a living. When going up against the bar advertising rules, you become your own client.

If you sit down and look at your state bar rules for lawyer advertising you'll notice that they're very vague in who enforces these rules. You're most likely going to be up against lawyers with little to no real understanding of the importance and nuances of legal marketing. It's your job to explain the necessity behind what you're doing and how it shouldn't be an issue in your lawyer advertising.

Do Remember Basic Ethical Conduct

Pushing the envelope on whether or not your sound effects are misleading is one thing, but through all your legal marketing you do need to follow the basic rules of ethics. Some of the things that will get you in trouble no matter what state you're in are: 

  • outright slander against another person or business;
  • guarantees for case results or settlement amounts; and
  • unauthorized use of client names or specific case details. 

Many state bar rules also restrict the use of celebrity endorsements, claiming you are a "specialist" or "expert" in any field, and the offering of incentives. Of course, there are always creative ways to say you're highly skilled in certain areas without using those keywords. But the best way is just to put your money where your mouth is and prove to your clients you know your practice.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.