Arkansas Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising
Websites for attorneys in Arkansas are generally considered to be "communications" that are subject to regulation by the state bar rules. These rules set forth by the Arkansas Bar contain specific provisions that apply to internet marketing and website design.
It is essential to comply with the Arkansas state bar rules when creating a website or blog for your law firm. Any failure to comply with the rules can result in disciplinary actions or sanctions. Although the bar rules in Arkansas are restrictive, an attorney can stay in full compliance while still having an extremely effective internet marketing campaign. Understanding search enginge algorithims, lawyer directories, key terms can help you significantly boost your site to your clientelle.
Arkansas Bar Rules Resources
Arkansas Bar Association Website- Find information on the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct, comments to the rules, and ethics advisory opinions. The Arkansas Bar Association is located at:
Arkansas Bar Association
2224 Cottondale Lane
Little Rock, AR 72202
Phone: (501) 375-4606
Office of the Committee on Professional Conduct - Visit the Arkansas Office of the Committee on Professional Conduct, which provides disciplinary decisions, grievance information and rules that govern legal professional conduct in Arkansas. This link also provides information to general court information, court rules and administrative orders, in addition to opinions by the court on various legal issues. The Arkansas Supreme Court is located at:
Arkansas Supreme Court
625 Marshall Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-6849
Ethics Advisory Opinions of the Arkansas Bar Association - Search the ethics advisory opinions, as provided by the Arkansas Bar Association, which gives ethical advice to attorneys in Arkansas on various hypothetical situations.
Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct - Read the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct on regulations for attorney website advertisement and marketing.
- Arkansas Bar Rules Guidelines
- False or Misleading Information on Arkansas Attorney Websites
- Use of Specialist or Certified on Arkansas Lawyer Websites
Arkansas Bar Rules Guidelines
Rule 7.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct generally governs all attorney and law firm communications about their services, including through advertisements such as website and internet marketing and advertisements.
An advertisement under Rule 7.2 is required to include at least one attorney's name who is responsible for the content, in addition to the geographical location of the principal office of the attorney or law firm where services are actually performed.
An attorney is required to keep a copy of any advertisement or communication for five years after it was last published, along with a record of where and when it was used, according to Rule 7.2 of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct.
False or Misleading Information on Arkansas Attorney Websites
According to the Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct Rule 7.1, all lawyers and law firms are prohibited from making false or misleading communications about the lawyer or their services, and statements about an attorney's services should only be truthful. A communication may be false or misleading if:
- The communication contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law;
- The communication omits a fact that is necessary to make a statement not materially misleading when taken as a whole;
- The communication probably will create an unjustified expectation as to the results the lawyer can achieve;
- The communication state or implies the lawyer can achieve certain results in violation of the bar rules;
- The communication compares the lawyer's services with that of another, unless they are able to be verified by facts; or
- The communication contains a testimonial or endorsement.
The comments to Rule 7.1 state that past case results, including records of a favorable verdict and the amount of damages, can create unjustified expectations and should not be used in communications about the lawyer's services. Additionally, advertisements with a past client's endorsement or testimonial should not be used on attorney or law firm websites.
Use of Specialist or Certified on Arkansas Lawyer Websites
The Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct permit an attorney or law firm to state they do or do not practice in a particular field of law under Rule 7.4. However, an attorney or law firm is prohibited from stating they are "certified," a "specialist," or "specialized" in any particular field of law, unless:
- The attorney has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association or by an organization approved by an appropriate state authority; and
- The certifying organization's name is clearly stated in the advertisement or communication.
This article was last updated on October 10, 2018.