A great marketing strategy can catapult a law firm to the top of its market. However, if that strategy doesn’t conform with state bar ethics guidelines, then all your hard work could be for naught. While marketers who work outside the legal space usually do not have to contend with rules beyond general regulations set out by such agencies as the FTC and FCC, legal marketers must comply with state bar association professional rules of conduct. These rules vary from state to state, which can make compliance difficult.

Here are some tips to help you better understand and comply with state bar ethics guidelines. 

  • Research: Check – through the various bar associations’ written guidelines, as well as published opinions – each state’s specific guidelines for law firm advertising (print and digital), website compliance, social media, newsletters and white papers. 
     
  • Create guidelines: Analyze each state’s guidelines and develop a detailed document to be used as a guide, presented in a format that is easy to share throughout the firm. Write the guide in straightforward language, not legalese, making it easy to follow and understand.
     
  • Stay up to date: Bar rules change periodically. This is especially true as the various bar organizations begin to address how new technologies, such as social media, may be reshaping the practice of legal marketing.

How can Jaffe help you comply with bar ethics rules?

Jaffe has helped law firms develop comprehensive marketing and public relations strategies for nearly 40 years. We routinely track changes to the various state bar ethics guidelines and can provide advice on how to incorporate ethics best practices into your own law firm marketing tactics. We also can audit legal marketing materials to assess for ethical compliance and provide onsite training to lawyers to help them understand the intersection of ethical obligations and marketing technology, such as the use of social media.

Want more information about bar ethics rules? Contact Terry M. Isner at tisner@jaffepr.com