The lawyer advertising rules in Alabama regarding internet marketing are restrictive; however, an attorney can work within the confines of the Alabama bar while still running an extensive and effective digital marketing campaign.
Attorneys practicing in Alabama must provide the following disclaimers on their advertisements in order to help the public understand the limitations of claims on their website:
- No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
- Hiring a lawyer should not be based entirely upon advertisements.
- The attorney’s website is not intended to be an advertisement or solicitation.
Rule 7.1 Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services
Lawyer cannot communicate misleading information about their services. A communication is considered misleading if it:
(a) includes a material misrepresentation of a fact or law, this includes omitting facts in order to make a statement considered not materially misleading
(b) creates an unrealistic and unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can produce, or contains an implication that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct
Rule 7.2 Advertising
If a lawyer intends to advertise their legal services, they must agree to the following:
(a) a lawyer may advertise services through public media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical, outdoor displays, radio, television, or written communication not involving solicitation as defined in Rule 7.3.
(b) A true copy or recording of any such advertisement shall be delivered or mailed to the office of the general counsel of the Alabama State Bar at its then current headquarters within three (3) days after the date on which any such advertisement is first distributed.
(c) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services; however, a lawyer may pay the reasonable cost of any advertisement or written communication and may pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service.
Rule 7.3 Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
(a) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client when the motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s monetary gain.