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Advertising And Solicitation Essay

1390 words - 6 pages

    There is a continuing need and demand for legal services that are accessible to the public, and in order for information about legal services to reach these people then it is necessary that legal professionals be able to advertise in some way. The ABA Model Rules have specific guidelines concerning how advertising legal services should be handled, and each state had adopted laws that follow these in some way or another. Understanding these guidelines and knowing state laws that regulate advertising legal services is necessary for all legal professionals so that their services are offered to the public while working withing the boundaries of the law. The unit six seminar discusses what legal advertising and solicitation is, the difference between the two, and the guidelines for legally advertising as a legal professional.
    The first ABA MRPC concerning this topic is rule 7.2 Advertising which states that ,”(a) ... a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media (ABA MRPC 7.2 (a)). According to this rule it is legal for lawyers to advertise their services through these specific outlets as long as they are in accordance with model rule 7.1 which prohibits the use of false and misleading information when doing so. Legal advertising should be for the purpose of informing the general public of the legal services available to them as well as to make obvious to them situations that require legal services that would otherwise be unknown to average laypersons. The comment for rule 7.2 explains that the rule allows advertisements to include the lawyer's name or firm name, address, email address, website, and telephone number, services, how lawyer's fees are determined, prices for specific services, references, and other information that will help the public in their pursuit for legal assistance (ABA MRPC 7.2 Comment [2]). Advertising becomes a problem because there is such great opportunity for attorneys to communicate misleading information, leaving the public vulnerable. Having rules and laws regarding how advertising is conducted ensures that the public is protected while pursuing help with legal issues.
    While most advertising legal services is allowed, the ABA MRPC 7.3 Solicitation of Clients explains that the states should handle solicitation much differently. It states that “ (a) A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain, ...” (ABA MRPC 7.3 (a)). There are a few exceptions to this rule such as in the case that the person being contacted is an attorney, family member, or has had a prior professional relationship with the solicitor (MRPC 7.3 (a) (1) and (2)). Unlike advertising, which is general and directed to the public, solicitation is specific and directed toward a specific person (Ethics for the Legal Professional, pp. 151)....

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