When looking into a marketing agency for lawyers, 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.
The New Mexico Rules for Professional Conduct govern advertising online in the state of New Mexico.
Rule 16-701 regulates a lawyer’s truthfulness in their communication of services. This rule specifically prohibits lawyers from making false or misleading communications about themselves or their services. A statement is considered misleading if:
“it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law; omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading; or contains a testimonial about, or endorsement of, the lawyer that is misleading.”
Rule 16-702 permits lawyers to advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media; however, a lawyer “shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services.” A lawyer may:
- “pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule
- pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service. A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been approved by an appropriate regulatory authority
- refer clients to another lawyer or a non-lawyer professional pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these rules”
Rule 16-704 regulates claims of specialization. A lawyer is permitted to communicate whether or not they do or do not practice in particular fields of law; however, A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:
- the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, an organization that has been approved by an appropriate authority of another state, or by an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and
- the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.