Legal advertising in the state of California can be tricky. Attorneys must learn about the laws and follow them explicitly to remain compliant. The State Bar of California sets the regulations and enforces them. A legal professional may be subject to disciplinary action if they violate these rules.
According to the State Bar of California rule 7.2 on advertising, there are specific situations where you can pay for someone to recommend your law firm and others where it is prohibited. Some cases where it is okay for you to pay to have someone recommend your law services include:
Legal Referral - Attorneys can pay standard charges to hire a firm that offers legal recommendations as part of their regular services. The legal referral service must operate within the State Bar of California’s Minimum Standards for a Lawyer Referral Service in California.
Paid Advertising - A lawyer can pay for legitimate advertising or...
Lawyers and firms must be very careful when advertising in print ads, online, or other mediums. Each state has its own take on marketing for law firms, and California has some very interesting rules. One, in particular, applies to any misleading or false information in ads.
Advertising may apply to any public solicitation or private communication, such as email campaigns. Rule 7 of the California Bar rules on marketing state that any attorney or law firm's website must not contain any information that may be perceived as confusing, deceptive, or misleading.
Absolute statements like "best," "lowest," "most," "highest," "will," and
"better" should not be used in advertising or marketing as they imply assurances you cannot guarantee. Additionally, you cannot make false, misleading, or deceptive statements about your fees, services, or results.
The law also points out that the...
Legal advertising is subject to strict rules by The Florida Bar. However, some types of promotion fall in the exception category, and one of those is tombstone ads.
A tombstone ad is typically a print ad but could also be found online or in other mediums. It contains only bare-bones information about the subject. They are often used in the financial industry to announce a public offering and list the parties involved.
Tombstone ads cannot have photographs, artwork, opinions, or sales-type content. They must contain a lot of white space and list only a few pieces of information. The SEC claims that tombstone ads are "not an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy" but simply a notification of a transaction. The style closely resembles that of a tombstone, hence the name.
Tombstone ads do not need to be reviewed by The Florida Bar as long as they contain no information except for the following:
Lawyer advertising can be a slippery slope, and you must be extra careful in the messaging and promotion of your legal services. Marketing for lawyers is subject to strict laws enforced by the Florida Bar.
Before using an ad, you must send it into the Florida Bar along with the filing fee, the ad’s duration and usage, 20 days before publishing or using it.
Once the Florida Bar receives it, they must review it within 15 days. The only exception is if they require additional information or determine that they need to examine the ad further. Either way, they will inform you of the need for more info or that it was rejected or accepted. If you do not receive any communication from the Florida Bar within 15 days of receiving it, you can use the ad and consider it approved.
You must submit each advertisement separately, and the Florida Bar will open a new file for it and assign it a unique identification number. The Florida...
Although the Florida bar is strict about rules applying to advertising and promotion for lawyers and law firms, there are some exceptions to the rules. Some of the times when the Florida bar rules don't apply are:
If you are licensed to practice law in multiple states, Florida's advertising rules do not apply to you if you market your services in another state or jurisdiction. However, keep in mind you must comply with the laws of that area, but as long as the ad is not sent to Florida residents, then you are safe.
You can promote your law services using postcards as long as the campaign is not a targeted direct mail advertisement. However, you must place the postcard in an envelope, or it must be converted to a self-mailing, fold-over style brochure. All information about the matter must be concealed when sending it through the mail. You must also mark the postcard with the word "advertisement" in a bright, easy-to-read...
When crafting law firm marketing strategies, you must diversify your approach. One tool which is often overlooked is a legal podcast. Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the past few years, and if you are not using a law podcast to further your legal marketing, you are missing out.
Marketing for a law firm can seem like a challenging task. However, in this modern digital world, you have multiple opportunities at your disposal. Due to the vast number of legal marketing channels, you can saturate the market with your message quickly and easily. One way is using a legal podcast. Some of the benefits of doing so are:
Legal professionals often have a difficult time reaching their target audience. A legal podcast is a great way to solve this problem. Turn a legal subject into a form of entertainment for clients that may have been out of reach before. People who may not look for legal services in other channels may be...
You finish law school, pass the bar, and begin practicing law. You may have an easy time finding clients, or it may be challenging. Regardless, you will need to think about marketing for your law firm at some point. One thing you may not have considered, though, is the importance of the client's journey and their experience with you.
The term client journey is a legal marketing term that refers to the customer experience of dealing with you. The journey includes any interaction a client has with you, from their first call to your law firm and speaking with whoever answers the phone to their communications with you and other legal professionals throughout the case, and even invoicing and payment after the work is complete. If someone from your law firm follows up with the client after the experience, that too is part of the overall client journey.
Any interaction with you or anyone from your law firm can instantly affect a client's opinion. Therefore, it's...
Believe it or not, just about everyone has a brand online. Whether you are aware or not, if you are in business, people are probably talking about your services either on social media, on blogs, or in reviews. That means you have an online reputation you must manage to keep it positive and working for you. Negative comments, regardless of their validity, can hurt your brand.
Like most consumers, legal clients go online to do research before hiring a lawyer. While it's essential to have a legal marketing strategy, it must also include your brand management. The first step is to find out what people are saying about you and your law firm.
The best way to start managing your online reputation is by Googling yourself to see what comes up. Open a private browsing page so your search engine won't feed you things that align with previous searches. Be sure to use search terms including your name and things like "lawyer" and "law...
If your law firm has a website, your legal marketing efforts should also be online. Customers don't just use Google to find you. There are dozens of other ways you can conduct law firm internet marketing effectively using the tools already available to you.
To be successful in our modern world, most people live online. Much of our personal information is stored in the cloud, and business is conducted through email, communication channels, and video conferencing. Online marketing for lawyers is an essential piece of the puzzle. Online technologies offer law firms new opportunities to connect with clients. Historically, legal marketing was limited to phone book ads, magazine and newspaper ads, radio, TV, bench, bus, and billboard advertising. The internet and social media open up new avenues for a legal marketing strategy that is both successful and cost-effective.
The goals of law firm...