Lawyer Marketing Compliance
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If you’re ready to promote your solo law practice or law firm, you must know how to follow state bar compliance in online marketing. That’s why we developed a list of the top 20 things attorneys need for state bar compliance in online advertising. Remember that each state has a unique set of bar compliance guidelines for law firm digital marketing, so always be sure to check with your state’s rules and regulations for specifics.
Understand how long you need to keep copies of advertisements.
Many jurisdictions require lawyers to keep copies of digital advertisements for a certain length of time. Each state’s bar compliance in online marketing will differ in this set period, so be sure to check with your state’s guidelines. This applies to both print and digital advertisements.
Don’t share pending case information in online marketing.
It’s always best to avoid sharing case information for cases that are currently ongoing. Most states see this as a violation of bar compliance in online marketing. If you do choose to share testimonials from a current case, you must have written approval from the client.
Do showcase your awards, publications, and memberships.
It’s important to know what you can’t advertise according to state bar compliance in online marketing, but it’s also essential to understand what you can promote. Remember that you can highlight things like awards, publications, and memberships to organizations. You can keep blogs summarizing publicized cases, memberships to legal organizations, or awards showcasing your achievements.
You can advertise rates and prices.
Remember that it’s within the rules of state bar compliance in online marketing to advertise average rates and prices of legal services.
Avoid misleading information or false statements.
Always aim for factual information. Including statements like “we provide legal services at the lowest prices” can be misleading. The use of the word “lowest” here is a defining adjective that you can’t actually prove.
Remember always to include location and address.
It may seem obvious to want to publish your geographical location and contact information. Still, some law firms will try to avoid posting addresses to lift boundaries or limits on potential clientele. To follow state bar compliance in online marketing, you want to make sure to have your law office’s location and address in a visible place in digital advertisements. Don’t hide addresses and locations in links to other pages.
Take responsibility for the content of your website.
To follow state bar compliance in online marketing, lawyers’ names should be listed on their websites. This shows ownership of your content and lets the users know that you’re supplying the information found on your website. We recommend placing your name on each page of your website instead of just listing it on a home page.
Avoid legal advice, and give factual legal information.
It’s best to try to avoid providing legal advice to a general audience online. There are endless extenuating circumstances in cases, and users might misunderstand legal advice online. It’s always best to provide legal facts and information rather than what someone should do in a particular scenario. For instance, you can explain your state’s penalties for a specific crime, but not what a person should do if charged.
Avoid setting unrealistic expectations.
Following state bar compliance in online marketing means never setting unrealistic expectations. Be honest with the way your law office handles day-to-day interactions with clients. For example, stating “we never miss a call” can be considered unrealistic in digital advertising for lawyers.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
It’s always best to avoid making promises you can’t keep, especially regarding things like case outcomes and settlement money. Promising to “get clients the money they deserve” is a clear violation of state bar compliance for online marketing.
Showcase past results but don’t guarantee future results.
Discussing results in online advertisements or websites can be tricky when following state bar compliance in online marketing. Of course, you want to avoid promising or guaranteeing specific case results or making general statements about results. However, it is okay to highlight the results of closed cases.
Avoid words like “most,” “top,” and “best.”
Remember that you always want to include content that’s factual and evidence-based in online marketing for lawyers. Because you can’t factually support terms like “best,” “top,” and “most,” it’s a good idea to avoid these terms altogether when creating content for an advertisement or website.
Avoid words like “get” and “obtain.”
Including words like “get” and “obtain” in online content can also cause trouble for attorneys. This is especially true when they’re used in content that refers to rewards or settlement money. These words can easily set unrealistic expectations for clients.
Avoid referring to yourself as an expert or a specialist.
Anytime you use terms like “expert,” “expertise,” “specialize,” and “specialist,” the Bar may ask you to support these claims. If you hold a certification and you do indeed specialize in an area, it can be possible to meet state bar compliance for online marketing. However, it’s best to avoid using these terms if you can’t support the claim.
Focus on what you know.
You want to come across as an authority figure in the area of law that you practice, so highlighting what you know can be an effective advertising strategy that meets state bar compliance for online marketing.
Don’t target a specific group or individual in attorney advertising.
Attorney solicitation is a distinct violation of state bar compliance rules in online marketing. When you create an advertisement that targets a specific group or person, it can be seen as unethical.
Understand your state’s trade name rules.
Certain jurisdictions do not permit attorneys to use a trade name, so it’s vital to check with your state’s bar rules on this form of advertising.
Never pay a previous client for a testimonial.
It is a huge violation of state bar compliance in online marketing to pay or reward previous clients for positive reviews or testimonials. If a client provides a testimonial or review of your legal services, they need to complete this on their own accord without compensation.
Testimonials and reviews should not set unrealistic expectations.
In general, it’s a good idea to check your state’s bar rules about posting testimonials. There might be specific guidelines about how reviews and testimonials can be obtained and what they can include online. Testimonials that can lead a potential client to believe in unrealistic or unattainable goals is unethical.
Aim to comply with bar advertising rules while designing creative and effective online advertising.
At Jupiter Marketing Agency, we take state bar compliance in online marketing seriously. While reading these requirements can seem daunting and limiting, it is possible to create a unique and powerful marketing strategy for your law firm without crossing boundaries or appearing unethical. Our goal is to design honest, trustworthy, and credible law firm marketing campaigns that meet these guidelines while also being persuasive and informative.
Contact Jupiter Marketing Agency today to hear more about state bar compliance in online marketing and what your law firm needs to know about it.