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Bates v. State Bar of Arizona

Advertising Lawyers

Lawyer advertising provides customers with information about legal services, legal rights, and a direct means of finding an attorney. The advertising must be truthful, not misleading or deceptive in any way. Phone directories, newspapers, newsletters, radio, television, and Internet homepages are all considered appropriate media. Advertising standards are based on the American Bar Association's (ABA) Moral Code of Professional Responsibility. States can develop their own guidelines based on these standards.

A 1990 study by the ABA's Commission on Advertising concerning lawyer's perceptions about advertising acceptability showed variations by age groups. Of those younger than 35 years of age, 85 percent said print and TV ads were acceptable under certain conditions. However, of those over 55, only 48 percent approved print and 65 percent television.

In a 1993 Gallup Poll commissioned by the ABA, 61 percent of respondents indicated their firms participated in at least one method of advertising. In 1993 lawyers spent $419 million on yellow page ads compared to $120 million on television.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Bates v. State Bar of Arizona - Significance, Commercial Speech Doctrine Extended To Lawyer Advertising, Advertising Lawyers, Further Readings