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New Jersey Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising

The New Jersey Bar has rules for attorneys marketing online called the Rules of Professional Conduct. These bar rules for lawyers in New Jersey are related to website design and internet marketing. The rules are found at Rule 7.1 through Rule 7.5. Additional information can be found in the comments and the Ethics Advisory Opinions interpreting the rules. The rules in New Jersey track closely with the Model Rules from the American Bar Association.

The Advertising Committee has the exclusive authority to consider requests for advisory opinions and ethics grievances concerning the compliance of advertisements and other related communications with Rules of Professional Conduct including:

  • Rule 7.1 "Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Service"
  • Rule 7.2 "Advertising"
  • Rule 7.3 "Personal Contact with Prospective Clients" (excluding subsections (c), (d), (e) and (f))
  • Rule 7.4 "Communication of Fields of Practice" 
  • Rule 7.5 "Firm Names and Letterheads," and with any duly approved advertising guidelines promulgated by the Advertising Committee with the approval of the NJ Supreme Court.

“Attorneys are responsible for monitoring the content of all communications with the public—including their websites—to ensure that those communications conform at all times with” the RPCs.” In re
Hyderally, 208 N.J. 453 (2011).

Before you redesign your law firm's website or start a new internet marketing campaign, it's important that you are familiar with the applicable bar rules. Although the rules in the State of New Jersey are restrictive, an attorney can stay in full compliance while still having an extremely effective internet marketing campaign.

Taking an ethical approach to marketing means following the letter and spirit of each rule. These rules in New Jersey track closely with the Model Rules from the American Bar Association.

If you want to understand the applicable bar rules for attorney advertising then it is important to read each rule in its entirety. Additional information can be found in the comments and the Ethics Advisory Opinions interpreting the rules.

You need an attorney website design and internet marketing company that understands the bar rules in New Jersey for attorney marketing. Contact our parent company, Internet Lava, LLC, to discuss designing a better website and internet marketing strategy for your law firm.

New Jersey Bar Rules Resources

New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct - Read the rules of professional conduct and ethics. The rules related to advertising and internet marketing include Rule 7.1 for Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Service, Rule 7.2 for Advertising, Rule 7.3 for Personal Contact With Prospective Clients, and Rule 7.4 Communication of Fields of Practice and Certification, and Rule 7.5 Firm Names and Letterheads.

RULE 1:19A. Committee on Attorney Advertising - The Supreme Court of New Jersey appoints a Committee on Attorney Advertising (hereinafter the "Advertising Committee") consisting of seven members, five of whom are members of the bar and two of whom are public members. 

New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics- This branch of the Supreme Court of New Jersey supervises and disciplines attorneys in New Jersey on various legal issues. This website provides information on ethics opinions, an ethics help desk and miscellaneous resources on legal ethics in New Jersey.

Supreme Court of New Jersey- Visit the website of the Supreme Court of New Jersey to find the New Jersey's court rules, the Court's opinion on various legal topics, and miscellaneous information about the court. The Supreme Court is located at:

Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
25 Market Street
Trenton, New Jersey
Phone: (609) 292-4837

New Jersey State Bar Association - Visit the New Jersey State Bar Association website to find helpful information and resources concerning what constitutes permissible and impermissible forms of legal advertising and solicitations.

New Jersey Bar Rules Information Center

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New Jersey Bar Rules Guidelines

The New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct govern all attorney and law firm communications and advertising, including websites and other content published on the internet.

According to Rule 7.2, an attorney is permitted to advertise their services through public media, including internet and electronic media.

The New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct also require an attorney to keep a copy of all advertisements and communications for a period of three years after it was used, in addition to when the advertised was used and where it was used.

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False and Misleading Language on New Jersey Legal Websites

According to Rule 7.1 of the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney is not permitted to make any false or misleading communication about themselves or their services. According to the Rule, a communication can be considered false and misleading if:

  • The communication contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law;
  • The communication omits a fact that is necessary to make the statement not materially misleading when taken a whole;
  • The communication has the potential to give the viewer of the website an unjustified expectation as to the results the lawyer can attain;
  • The communication compares the services of the attorney to that of another unless the statement can be factually substantiated, includes the name of the lawyer being compared to, and includes a disclaimer; and
  • Discusses legal fees, except in limited circumstances.

The fees an attorney may be able to discuss on their website can include:

  • An initial consultation fee;
  • Whether the attorney's specific legal services are based on a contingent or fixed fee;
  • A range of fees for specific legal fees, if not likely to be misunderstood or deceptive;
  • Whether credit arrangements are available;
  • Specific hourly rates, if the statement clarifies the total will depend on the number of hours devoted to the matter; and
  • A statement of fees the attorney charges for services rendered from qualified legal assistance organizations.

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Disclaimers on New Jersey Law Firm Websites

An attorney or law firm that chooses to include information on their website that could be perceived as false or misleading should include a disclaimer or disclosure on the website. The disclaimer should appear in the same manner, with equal prominence, and with the same legibility as the website's other content.

A disclaimer would prevent potential viewers of the website and potential clients from creating an unjustified expectation as the attorney's services and the results they can achieve.

Also, under Rule 7.1, an attorney or law firm that compares their services to that of another must include the following disclaimer on their website, in addition to including the name of the organization being compared and the statement can be factually verified:

"No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey."

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Practice Areas on New Jersey Attorney Websites

Under Rule 7.4, an attorney is permitted to state they do or do not practice in certain legal areas on their website, but they may not state they have been recognized or certified as a specialist in any field of law except in limited circumstances. 

An attorney may claim they are a specialist, certified or specialized in a particular area of law if:

  • The attorney has been admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office;
  • The attorney in New Jersey is engaged in an admiralty practice; or
  • The attorney is:
    • board certified specialist
    • the certification was granted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey or an organization approved by the American Bar Association;
    • the attorney states the name of the certifying organization; and
    • the communication is not false or misleading.