Advertising and Solicitation

1173 Words 5 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 …show more content…
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). Advertising becomes solicitation when directed toward a specific person who is known to need legal assistance via in-person, telephone, or live chat. This is prohibited in some way in all states due to the heightened “potential for abuse” (MRPC 7.3 Comment [2]). Those who are in need of legal assistance should be and are afforded the right to have access
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