Thursday, April 22, 2010

New State Bar Rules on Advertising Part 1

Yesterday I attended a very interesting Legal Marketing Association meeting. The featured speaker was none other than Gene Major, the head of the State Bar Advertising Review Board. Major shared with us in his amusing breezy manner the good, the bad and the ugly about the realities regarding lawyer competition and advertising.

There is a lot to cover so I thought I would share what I learned over a few days. First the good, apparently everyone wants to be a lawyer! Major says current statistics in the state of Texas show one out of every 245 people is a lawyer. Law schools are sending out 3,000 new baby lawyers a year. The bad part of this? competition is going to be tighter than ever. Major says his office has been busy lately reviewing of all things, lawyer informercials. That's right, right along with ab machines and George Foreman grills now insomniacs can enjoy half an hour of riveting television about legal services. ugh.

Because of the ramp up in competition advertising rules have had to be revised as well. Here are the first three.
1. No more models or actors in any marketing materials depicting themselves as clients or lawyers in the firm. This rule applies to websites, brochures, billboards, etc.

2. No more advertising of your services as "Specializing in" unless you do. Replace that word with concentration or focus.

3. Monetary values attached to case results can be listed ONLY if its listed as the net that went to the client. Gross verdict judgements must have a disclaimer that lists attorney fees, court costs and net that went to the client.

More tomorrow!

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