Legal Marketing Association Advocates for Amendments to ABA Model Rules on Lawyer Advertising

by Legal Marketing Association (LMA)

Navigating Industry Change Via a Seat at the Table

On February 2, LMA took part in the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility Forum on Proposed Amendments to ABA Model Rules on Lawyer Advertising. This forum introduced an opportunity for the committee to hear from those who wished to provide comments or suggested revisions to the proposed rules, which focus on addressing false and misleading communications and solicitations.

According to the ABA, these changes — which stemmed from a call for a modernization of the rules from the Association of Professional Lawyers (APRL) — are meant to improve the way in which lawyers communicate to legal service consumers.

As Co-chair for the LMA Working Group on Ethics and Marketing, I was pleased to represent LMA at this forum. The working group, formed to represent legal marketers in this and other conversations about ethics and rules related to our work, is part of the new LMA Advocacy Advisory Council.

At the forum, I joined such participants as George Clark, President of APRL,  Will Hornsby, staff counsel on behalf of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Services Delivery, as well as several practitioners including, Bruce Johnson, a constitutional law partner from Davis, Wright and Tremaine (DWT), and Mark Britton, CEO of Avvo.

All present supported the work of the committee and encouraged it to go even further with its revisions, with several in the room advocating for the elimination of Rule 7.2 as redundant. In particular, Johnson noted that there is overregulation of "specialization" and that the definition of solicitation would not pass the Central Hudson (S.Ct. case) test. Speaking on behalf of LMA, I shared our support for the work of the committee and recommend the ABA adopt the proposed rule revisions and consider further modifications to streamline and clarify the rules.

It is critical that legal marketers continue to have a voice in this ongoing discussion...

Several states, including Washington, Oregon and Virginia, have already adopted the APRL recommendations. Overall, the consensus in the room was that the rules need to be streamlined and consistent, with an emphasis on a national structure that states can sign on to and not feel the need to "enhance" the model rules.

It is critical that legal marketers continue to have a voice in this ongoing discussion, and LMA is determined to be that voice. While the Bar and the courts establish the rules, legal marketing and business development professionals often have the responsibility of implementing these rules when working with their attorneys across offices to disseminate subject matter alerts, to develop client seminars, and to post on social media, just to name a few examples. The document detailing just the differences between state advertising and solicitation rules and the Model Rules number 106 pages — that is untenable in today’s era of global communications vehicles like the internet and social media.

The ABA Committee will be accepting comments on its proposed revisions through March 1 and then will meet in April and May to prepare final proposed amendments to send to the ABA House of Delegates in August. Our working group will work with LMA members and leaders to develop and submit comments prior to the March deadline. We are also committed to continuing to support the committee in its efforts to develop streamlined rules that are consistent and effective and to assist with their approval and subsequent acceptance at the state level. To do so will take the assistance of all LMA members. Please watch for more information coming soon on how you can get involved in this important initiative.

Ready to be part of the story now? Tell us the lengths to which you have gone to comply with the current advertising rules by sending your examples and stories to: We promise not to attribute the story to you or your firm without your permission.


[Kim Perret is the chief marketing officer at Jones Walker LLP. She currently serves at co-chair of the LMA Advocacy Working Group on Ethics and Advertising and as a LMA Southwest Region Board Director.]

Written by:

Legal Marketing Association (LMA)

Legal Marketing Association (LMA) on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.