Dentons

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#RiskTip — the ethics and risks of attorney advertising

By Eddie Reich

As we celebrate the first anniversary of our blog, it seems like an opportune time to discuss the ethics and risks of attorney advertising. I read two seemingly contradictory articles recently about the use of Twitter and other social media by lawyers. In the first, the author suggested that lawyers aren’t taking sufficient advantage of Twitter as a marketing tool. The second article warned that the use of Twitter and other social media might run afoul of the ethics rules on lawyer advertising.

Which is right? Well, they both are. Attorney advertising is regulated by the Rules of Professional Conduct. Those rules can vary among jurisdictions and it’s not always easy to recognise whether a particular communication constitutes advertising. And if something is considered advertising, labelling requirements and certain restrictions may apply. So while Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and, yes, legal blogs certainly are valuable business development tools, lawyers who use them must ensure that they are in compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct…

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