According to state and federal laws, companies must keep different types of records for a specific amount of time in the business world. For example, accounting records should be retained for a period of seven years in case of an audit. In terms of advertising, the state laws differ. Here are how those laws apply to California.
Prior to 2018, the State of California required lawyers and law firms to retain all advertising records for a minimum period of two years. The revision states:
“The requirement that a lawyer retain copies of all advertisements for two years has become increasingly burdensome, and such records are seldom used for disciplinary purposes. Thus, the Commission, with the concurrence of the ABA Commission on Responsibility in Client Development, is recommending the elimination of the requirement that records of advertising be retained for two years.”
Additionally, the board recognized that a website is an electronic communication, and it would have been incredibly difficult for lawyers to keep all copies of previously changed web pages.
Therefore, attorneys who practice in California are no longer subject to this two-year retention law, but the state does require legal professionals to abide by the Business and Professions Code section 6159.1, which states:
“A true and correct copy of any advertisement made by a person or licensee shall be retained for one year by the person or licensee who pays for an advertisement soliciting employment of legal services.”
The bottom line is that now lawyers must keep advertising records for one year, and then they can discard them.
Legal advertising and promotion are critical to growing your law firm business. It can reach new audiences, tap into stale contacts, and breathe new life into connections with your clients. The key is knowing how to effectively use advertising and promotional techniques that follow the guidelines but also effectively market your services.
The California State Bar rules can be confusing and difficult to follow on your own. It makes sense to rely on a marketing partner who understands these guidelines and knows how to work within them to promote your firm effectively.
The state bar rules for every U.S. state can vary widely, and they are constantly changing, making it even more challenging to remain compliant.
INGAGE Marketing is well-versed in all state laws for legal advertising and marketing. We help lawyers and law firms like yours promote their services while remaining compliant with all state and federal laws.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you comply with state bar advertising rules and drive more new business to your firm.