When building digital marketing and SEO campaigns for law firm websites, it’s important to be mindful of your state’s bar regulations for advertising. In this article we’ll go over some of the high level points to look out for.
All attorney and law firm communications and advertising are regulated by The New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct.
Rule 7.2 permits an attorney advertise their services through public media, including internet and electronic media; however, they are required to keep a copy of all advertisements and communications for a period of three years after it was used, in addition to when the advertised was used and where it was used.
Rule 7.1 prohibits an attorney from including information on their website that could be perceived as false or misleading. To avoid this, any communication displayed on a website should include a disclaimer or disclosure. The disclaimer should appear in the same manner, with equal prominence, and with the same legibility as the website’s other content.
Any communication can be considered false or misleading under Rule 7.1 if:
- The communication contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law;
- The communication omits a fact that is necessary to make the statement not materially misleading when taken a whole;
- The communication has the potential to give the viewer of the website an unjustified expectation as to the results the lawyer can attain;
- The communication compares the services of the attorney to that of another unless the statement can be factually substantiated, includes the name of the lawyer being compared to, and includes a disclaimer; and
- Discusses legal fees, except in limited circumstances.
Under Rule 7.4, may only claim to be certified in a particular area or a specialist if:
- They have been admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office;
- They are engaged in admiralty practice; or
- They are certified, and state the certification has been granted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey or an organization approved by the American Bar Association, they state the name of the certifying organization, and the communication is not false or misleading.