Lawyer advertising has come a long way since Jacoby & Meyers launched its TV commercials back in the 1970′s promising quality lawyers at low prices. Firm brochures, websites and social media have redefined the advertising landscape.
With these changes comes a host of new rules and regulations governing lawyer advertising — including defining what constitutes lawyer advertising. Recently, one bar association issued an opinion suggesting that, depending on the content, a lawyer’s LinkedIn profile might constitute attorney advertising, thus triggering labeling, disclaimer and other requirements. In other words, if your LinkedIn profile is inaccurate or otherwise noncompliant, a lawyer could be in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, subject to discipline.
So here are some tips for ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is rule-compliant:
- Depending on the jurisdiction in which you practice, you may need to add the “Attorney Advertising” and/or other disclaimer language to your profile. Our marketing team stands ready to assist you with ensuring that such language is added in a manner that is consistent with the rules but does not detract from the message.
- You should not identify yourself as a “specialist” or “expert” without ensuring that the representation is in compliance with all relevant jurisdictions.
- You should periodically monitor and review the content of your LinkedIn profiles for accuracy. Any inaccurate or outdated information should be deleted.
- You are also responsible for the accuracy of information contained in any endorsements that appear on your profile. So if your mother-in-law wants to endorse you as a trial lawyer and you’ve never set foot in a courtroom, you would be wise to decline.
I appreciate that all these rules can be frustrating. So for the moment, take a break and enjoy some quality lawyer advertising from back in the day before disclaimers and labels.
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