As with any business, your law firm must take proactive steps to inform the general public of its existence. If a prospective client has no idea that you even have a law practice, how will they ever consider hiring you? In the world of advertising and marketing, we are accustomed to pitchmen, billboards, and television ads making extraordinary claims about the quality of a particular product or the reliability of a certain brand—and we usually see such messages as full of exaggeration and hyperbole.
Rules of Professional Conduct
In the legal realm, however, attorneys must be very careful about how they market their firms. When a lawyer is admitted to the State Bar, he or she agrees to always abide by that state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Every state except California has adopted a set of rules that is based on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct set forth by the American Bar Association. California still maintains Rules of Professional Conduct, but the format is rather different. These rules address concerns in lawyer advertising which include the possibility of misleading clients, misrepresenting a firm’s services, and creating unrealistic expectations. As such, wherever you practice, there are some specific words you should avoid when creating marketing materials and others you must be very careful when using.
Words to Avoid