The Higher Standard of Lawyers in Advertising

The Higher Standard of Lawyers in Advertising

Justice Cardozo observed that, “membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions.” (In Re Rouss, 116 N.E 782, 783 (N.Y. 1917) ) (maybe attach link to judgment) These conditions are rooted in the idea that the practice of law is not just another trade but rather, it is a profession with inherited standards of honor and propriety. It is the duty of every attorney to maintain the integrity of the profession.

Question: How do attorneys find the delicate balance between upholding integrity and using technology to advertise their services and develop their client base?

RESTRAINT is the key word here. In July of last year, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 issued its initial report (attach link to report) on whether ethics rules should be changed to address lawyers’ use of technology for marketing and advertising and, as the report’s cover letter explains:
[T]he Commission concluded that no new restrictions are necessary in this area, but that lawyers would benefit from more guidance on how to use new client development tools in a manner that is consistent with the profession’s core values.
The American Bar Association is set to codify these proposed amendments to the Model Rules in August of this year and the hope is that this will offer some much needed guidance in the area and will give attorneys the tools they need to exercise restraint and advertise with integrity.