Every bar association has standards of professional conduct which include rules around advertising and marketing your services. Those rules also apply to your online presence.
Common rules include:
- Don’t trash talk other members of the bar
- Don’t falsely claim to have won awards
- Don’t guarantee a certain outcome
- Don’t solicit “second opinion” business
- Don’t make unqualified statements about your past successes
- Don’t mislead about the cost of your services
- Do disclose if you are going to refer the client and will receive a fee for doing so
That’s not an exhaustive list, so you may want to check the specific rules in your jurisdiction.
If you choose to outsource your SEO activities, it is especially important that your contractor understand the rules that apply to you. After all, it is you who will be facing disciplinary action if they overstep. You may want to direct them to the relevant section of the rules in your region:
In Canada, chapter 4 of most codes of conduct have the rules governing marketing legal services.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
In the United States, chapter 7 of most rules of professional conduct contain the rules governing marketing legal services.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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