A Quick Look At Lawyer Advertising History

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Did you know that lawyer advertising was banned until the mid-1970s? Want to know a little more about lawyer advertising? Read on

The Industrial Revolution was a decisive moment in history that marked major changes in agriculture, mining, transportation and manufacturing. There began an increase in individuals who can afford to buy not only the things they need, but also the things they want. It is the time that advertising gained ground. Advertisements for different products and services appeared in newspapers and buildings, including lawyer advertising.

Many well-established lawyers were against it. They said this would lessen the sanctity of the law, especially in the publics eyes. Moreover, it was like comparing the practice of law to a business enterprise. In 1908, lawyer advertising (except business cards) was banned by the American Bar Association (ABA) through its code of ethics, the Canons of Professional Ethics. This continued up to the mid-1970s. In1977, in the Bates v. State Bar of Arizona case, the United States Supreme Court allowed lawyer advertising on grounds of the publics right to know. The Court gave the responsibility to the Bar to regulate lawyer advertising. The Bar responded by making modifications to their code of ethics to adopt the changes.

To this day, states have adopted the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and modified it according to their needs and objectives, expressing their attitude to lawyer advertising and the publics right to information. Each state has a set of rules that govern lawyers in their area. So if you are a lawyer, or you engage in marketing for personal injury lawyers, it is best to acquaint yourself first with these rules. You need to know the limitations, requirements and ethics opinions.

Lawyers who wish to market themselves invest in Yellow Page Advertising. Here are some of the data gathered on Yellow Page Advertising for Lawyers by the Yellow Pages Association in 2003.
Yellow Page Advertising for Lawyers amounted to $1.037 billion
Attorneys as a category is referenced 328.3 million times yearly
Lawyers spent nearly as much on Yellow Page Advertising as on insurance – $387.9 million

Studies conducted also show that 90% of Yellow Pages Advertising display are
for Personal Injury (45%), Bankruptcy (20%), Criminal (12%), Family Law(10%), Workers compensation (7%).