Before you redesign your law firm's website or start a new internet marketing campaign, it's important to pay attention to the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct related to advertisements, website design, and internet marketing.
Attorneys in South Dakota are expected to follow the high standards of professional conduct that define proper conduct for a lawyer handling legal matters. To maintain these standards, discipline is handled by the Disciplinary Board of the State Bar, the Attorney General of the State of South Dakota, and the South Dakota Supreme Court.
The first step to understanding the applicable bar rules for attorney advertising requires reading each rule in its entirety. The rules related to attorney advertising can be found in the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct. Additional information explaining the bar rules in South Dakota can be found in the comments to each rule and the advisory ethics opinions interpreting the rules.
The section on "INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES" includes:
Although the rules in the State of South Dakota 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.
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According to South Dakota's Rule 7.4, a lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law. The rule provides that:
If a lawyer practices only in certain fields, or will not accept matters except in such fields, the lawyer is permitted so to indicate. A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is a specialist except as follows:
Read more about the rules for attorneys who are board certified specialists.
South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct - Visit the website of the South Dakota Legislature to find the appendix to Chapter 16-18 of the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct including the Chapter 7 rules on how attorneys communicate information about their services to the public.
Ethics Opinions Indexed By Rule for Attorney Ads - Search the ethics opinions in South Dakota indexed by rule under Chapter 7 concerning information and communications about Legal Services.
Comparison of South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct- Visit the American Bar Association (ABA) website to find a detailed comparison of the Newly Adopted South Dakota Rules of Professional Responsibility with the ABA Model Rules as of October 12, 2017.
Directory of Attorneys in South Dakota - At Lawyer Legion, we developed this online attorney directory to help the public find an attorney in South Dakota across hundreds of practice areas of the law. This online attorney directory also provides information on legal organizations and lawyer referral services located throughout the state.
This article was last updated on Friday, December 27, 2019.