Attorney Advertising is subject to numerous rules set by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the New York State Bar Association. The New York Rules of Professional Conduct have sections that specifically address web design and online marketing.
While the New York Rules of Professional Conduct is broad in scope, our team at Web Perseverance is familiar with the particular rules that apply to web marketing. We have provided Internet marketing for many law firms during the early stages of web marketing and up to the present.
We ensure that all of the content and design for any website we create is pre-approved by the lawyer before launching the website. We have incorporated this practice into our web design based on the following New York Rules of Professional Conduct:
Under NY Rules 7.1 (k), attorneys or the law firm must pre-approve all advertisements.
Pre-approval applies to advertising in websites, blogs, chat rooms, list servers, emails, instant messaging, banner advertisements, pop-up advertisements, pop-under advertisements, search engines and other internet-related presence. [Rule 1.0(c)]
Restrictions for Factually Supported Statements
You have possibly seen attorney websites that claim to be the top in their field or tout the idea that they are better at obtaining compensation for clients than other law firms. They use superlatives like “the top,” “the most,” “the most prestigious,” or other marketing language that businesses can get away with in other industries. However this type of marketing promotion can get law firms in trouble in the legal profession.
The following rule specifically prohibits this type of advertising:
 Descriptions of characteristics of the lawyer or law firm that are not comparative and do not involve results obtained are permissible even though they cannot be factually supported. Such statements are understood to be general descriptions and not claims about quality, and would not be likely to mislead potential clients. Accordingly, a law firm could advertise that it is “Hard-Working,” “Dedicated,” or “Compassionate” without the necessity to provide factual support for such subjective claims. On the other hand, descriptions of characteristics of the law firm that compare its services with those of other law firms and that are not susceptible of being factually supported could be misleading to potential clients. Accordingly, a lawyer may not advertise that the lawyer is the “Best,” “Most Experienced,” or “Hardest Working.” Similarly, some claims that involve results obtained are not susceptible of being factually supported and could be misleading to potential clients. Accordingly, a law firm may not advertise that it will obtain “Big $$$,” “Most Money,” or “We Win Big.” (New York Rules of Professional Conduct, Page 173, section 12)
We look out for our clients’ interests and work diligently to provide marketing that is appropriate for the client’s industry. We share your objectives to promote and expand your businesses and will work closely with you to create a presence on the web that is right for your business.
Web Perseverance is an Internet marketing company that helps businesses create strategic and productive marketing on the web.