» Legal Marketing Ethics

Want to Avoid Ethics Complaints? Follow These Three Service Tenets for Satisfied Clients

Unhappy clients often choose to file ethics complaints against their poor-performing lawyers. What leads to their unhappiness? It may come as a surprise, but most ethics complaints are not about incompetence. Instead, most complaints revolve around basic customer service expectations. They involve issues that, even without specific ethics rules in place, would make any reasonable person agree the lawyer should be disciplined. ... Read More

Is Ohio Gagging Lawyers Speaking at Seminars?

Every few years, state ethics officials issue a questionable decision in the legal marketing ethics area. The ones that make you scratch your head and think, “Really? What planet do they live on?” . . . . . . Today, the spotlight is on Ohio. What? I Can’t Hand Out a Brochure When I’m Speaking? Every good legal marketer knows that speaking at seminars is a tried-and-true method of reaching potential clients and enhancing one’s reputation. A recent opinion issued in Ohio would limit the marketing benefits of speaking engagements . . . Continue reading this post on www.attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

When Can You Pay a Referral Fee?

In most practice areas, a lawyer’s marketing efforts should focus on generating a strong referral pipeline—from both non-lawyers and lawyers alike. If those efforts are successful, you’ll probably need some guidance on referral fees. Here it is. There are Clear Guidelines—Mostly Continue reading this post on attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

Soliciting Clients by Text Message

It can be hard for legal marketing ethics experts to keep up with rapidly expanding modes of electronic communication, but the State of Ohio recently gave it a try. The issue was text messaging. Is a text message like an email, or is it more like an internet chat-room conversation, where the communication takes place in “real time?” If your answer to this question is, “Who cares?” my response is that lawyers should care. How you answer this question determines the legal and ethical guidelines that control when you solicit a client by texting. Continue reading this post at www.lawyernomics.avvo.com ... Read More

Just Like Lawyers, Legal Marketers Can Be Good or Bad

This week, the news broke that law firm Seikaly & Stewart is suing legal marketing outfit the Rainmaker Institute over implementation of a search engine optimization program that allegedly broke Google rules and damaged, rather than enhanced, the law firm’s online results. None of us opining about this development in the blogosphere has a clue surrounding all of the relevant facts regarding the litigation. And I don’t much care who wins or loses.  I’d just like to use this case as a jumping off point to comment on the venom that seems to accompany the term “legal marketer” whenever it appears in the blogosphere. Let’s get it out in the open. Yes, at times, I earn money by providing legal marketing advice to clients who are… ... Read More

Networking Groups – Are They Ethical?

Referral sources are the lifeblood of many successful attorneys. Old standby places to meet new people and establish relationships with referral sources include bar and trade associations, as well as business community organizations (such as Chamber of Commerce or Rotary). Although the missions of these groups vary significantly, referrals are the inevitable reward for active participation. Continuing reading this post at www.lawyernomics.avvo.com ... Read More

Keep Your Marketing Out of Ethics Traps

The most important ABA Model Rule governing professional conduct in the area of legal marketing is Rule 7.1, which covers communications concerning a lawyer’s services. All states have adopted this rule, worded exactly the same or very close to it. The rule provides: Continue reading this post on www.attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

Why Lawyers Should Beware of "Specializing"

It is the rare lawyer who is familiar with all the intricacies of legal marketing ethics rules. Most of them, however, seem to know that they must take care when using the word “specialize.” At the same time, most of these attorneys have no idea why. Continue reading this post to discover the answer. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

Even Abraham Lincoln Had to Market

I enjoy the holiday season for many reasons. One is because Hollywood usually releases a few decent and entertaining movies. One movie that earned a respectable amount of praise this season is Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. If you read the reviews, or talked to friends and colleagues who have seen the movie, you’ve probably heard a common refrain: “I didn’t know that Abraham Lincoln did that.” Lincoln the Trial Lawyer Most of you should remember from your history classes that Lincoln (like many presidents) was a lawyer. You may even recall that he was a famed Illinois trial lawyer. But you probably don’t know that Lincoln the lawyer was just as skilled at marketing his own services as he was in the courtroom. By today’s standards… ... Read More

ABA report: No New Rules Needed for Law Firm Rankings

When U.S. News & World Report decided to rank law schools, this ranking – for better or worse — fundamentally changed the law school admissions process. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

Asking For The Business: IMHO, Rarely Ethical or Effective

In a previous post dealing with the ethical traps in networking, I discussed how “asking for business” can run afoul of the ABA Rules of Professional Conduct. In this post, I want to discuss how “asking for business” can be ineffective as well as a business development tactic. Continue reading post on www.solopracticeuniversity.com ... Read More

Networking Can Be An Ethical Landmine. Be Careful.

Done right, networking is essential for growth; Done wrong, networking can be unethical For solo lawyers in almost all practice areas, success depends on the relationships you develop through personal networking. Many of you already know that and are actively networking. What you may not know is that a lawyer’s networking activities are governed by ethics rules. While my goal is clearly not to inhibit your networking efforts or put a damper on your enthusiasm for interaction with potential clients or referrers of clients, I do want to point out some of the ethics rules so you will be more aware of these tripwires that land unsuspecting lawyers in hot water. Continue reading this post on solopracticeuniversity.com ... Read More

ABA rules: No major ethics overhaul needed To address web marketing

In a draft proposal issued last month, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 recommended no new restrictions relating to online marketing. The Commission did offer some useful guidance on how to interpret some web-based marketing tools within the context of existing ethics rules – guidance that I intend to pass along to the solo and small-firm lawyers that I coach. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

Lawyer Advertising: Louisiana State Regulations and the First Amendment

In the famous 1977 Bates decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that lawyers have First Amendment rights, too; legal advertising is constitutionally protected commercial speech. Prior to that, state’s ethics rules prohibited all advertising — and we never saw any of those amusing (and not so amusing) lawyer commercials on television. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

Lawyer Rankings: What's the Ranting Now?

It’s been a few years since lawyer rankings and ratings have been prominently featured in legal media circles. Four years ago, regulatory officials in New Jersey determined that it was “false and misleading” for lawyers in that state to advertise their selection by Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers. After a long legal battle over what was referred to as Opinion 39, (I helped defend Super Lawyers), the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that the selection processes for both publications were bona fide and that lawyers have a First Amendment right to promote the accolade. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

Work the Room Comfortably at a Conference

Perhaps the most effective networking is a one-on-one setting over coffee or lunch. That is usually within most people’s comfort zone. But how comfortable are you when attending a conference with a room full of strangers. Can you “work the room” without breaking into a cold sweat? Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

How Lawyers Should Ask For The Business

I participate in a variety of listservs and recently posted an answer about when lawyers “can ask for business” and not violate the solicitation rules. More importantly, I advised what a lawyer should say in an effort to get business. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More
I hired Roy while taking a sabbatical to help me determine the next steps in my career. After working together, it was very apparent that Roy cares about his clients and wants them to succeed. He was very easy to talk with and honest, including pushi…" Read the rest
– Former General Counsel, Minneapolis, MN corporation

For More Information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.