Minnesota Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising

Advertising techniques have switched over to online marketing with the prevalence of the Internet. Most attorneys use social media and tailor-made websites to promote themselves in their communities. However, Minnesota attorneys cannot use all of the tactics used in traditional advertising.

The Minnesota Bar Rules of Professional Conduct outline what an attorney can and cannot do when advertising online. Certain statements, disclaimers, and other marketing tools are prohibited under the Minnesota Bar. Failure to uphold these regulations can result in some type of disciplinary action.

The Minnesota Bar Rules may seem confining to your marketing plan. However, you can still maintain a strong Internet presence whilst staying in compliance. Using certain strategies such as search engine key terms, tracking search engine algorithms, and posting regularly can help you boost your website. 

Resources for Attorney Advertising in Minnesota 

Minnesota State Bar Association – Visit the official website for the Minnesota State Bar Association and find more information surrounding the Bar Rules, law-related organizations, and learn how to apply to the Minnesota State Bar. 

Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility – Visit the official website for the Lawyer Professional Responsibility Board. Find more information on how to file a complaint, get access to the request for the history of disciplinary actions by the board, and proposed and pending rules or opinions.

Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct – Gain access to the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct and find more information on the rules discerning advertising. Learn about how you are able to market yourself while in compliance with the Bar. 

Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board Opinions – Find more information surrounding the Lawyer Professional Responsibility Board ethics opinions, how they interpret the laws, and what opinions are currently active with the board. 

Regulation of Lawyer Advertising – Visit an article from the Bench & Bar of Minnesota by Charles E. Lundberg, a member of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Find more information on major components of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct and how the board has interpreted hotly debated topics in the past.

How to Communicate Minnesota Lawyer Services Online

The Minnesota Bar of Professional Conduct Rule 7.1 states a lawyer cannot make false or misleading information about their services on their site. The Bar interprets a misleading or false fact as any material that omits or misrepresents the law or their results.

The Minnesota Bar comments state that for instance stating you have had “successful results” in the past is a violation of Bar Rules. The statement may lead a reasonable person to form an unjustified expectation that they will also receive the same results. This would be considered a misleading or false statement. 

Comparisons are also considered false or misleading statements. Attorneys who claim their fees or consultations are superior to other attorneys are breaking Bar Rules of Professional Conduct. Any attorney using false or misleading statements may face a type of disciplinary action.

Advertising Attorney Services Online in Minnesota

Attorneys wishing to advertise their services online may want a title to help them stand out. Rule 7.4 of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct establishes that attorneys cannot use terms such as specialist, specialty, specializes in, or certified as a specialist in a particular type of law. Any statements such as this are considered false or misleading.

However, if the certification is given by an organization it’s valid for an attorney to advertise that he or she is a specialist. For the statement to be deemed appropriate by the board, the organization’s name and information must be easily accessible. 

If the organization has not been assessed as professional by the Bar, the attorney must state the absence or deny authority to grant the certification. Those who don’t have a high risk of misleading their clients and facing disciplinary actions by the Lawyer Professional Responsibility Board.

This article was last updated on October 11, 2018.