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Vermont Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising

Before you redesign your law firm's website or start a new internet marketing campaign, it's important to pay attention to the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct related to advertisements, website design, and internet marketing 

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 Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct found in the section on "INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES" including: 

  • Rule 7.1.  Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services.
  • Rule 7.2.  Advertising.
  • Rule 7.3.  Direct Contact With Prospective Clients.
  • Rule 7.4.  Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization.
  • Rule 7.5.  Firm Names and Letterheads.
  • Rule 7.6.  Political Contributions to Obtain Government Legal Engagements or Appointments by Judges.

Additional information can be found in the comments to each rule and the advisory ethics opinions interpreting the rules.

Although the rules in the State of Vermont 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.

At Lawyer Legion, we developed this online attorney directory to help the public find a lawyer in the State of Vermont. This online attorney directory also provides information on legal organizations and lawyer referral services located throughout the state.

Our parent company, Internet Lava, LLC, builds websites and internet marketing strategies for lawyers across the United States. Contact us to find out more about the services we can provide to your law firm.

Call 1-800-292-5282.

Resources for Vermont Bar Rules

Advisory Ethics Opinions in Vermont - Visit the website for the Vermont Bar Association to search advisory ethics opinions on advertising issues for attorneys from 2010 to present.

Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys in Vermont- Read the rules of professional conduct related to advertising and information regarding legal services. Under title 7, those rules including Rule 7.1 for communications concerning a lawyer's services, Rule 7.2 for advertising, Rule 7.3 for direct contact with prospective clients, and Rule 7.4 for communication of fields of practice.

Lawyer Referral Services in Vermont - Find information about the lawyer referral service managed by the Vermont Bar Association in Montpelier, VT, with an online form that can be used to find a qualified attorney in a variety of practice areas.

Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorney Advertising

Vermont has largely adopted the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules). The rules have been amended several times over the years.

Vermont's general rule on attorney advertising, Rule 7.2, permits lawyers to advertise their services through such public media sources including television, newspapers, telephone directories, and radio. Those ads are subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3.

  • Rule 7.1 prohibits false or misleading statements about the services of the law firm or the lawyer.
  • Rule 7.3 regulates solicitation and direct client contact.
  • Rule 7.4 regulates communications concerning a lawyer's area of practice.
    • Under the rule, an attorney is permitted to communicate the fact that he or she "does or does not practice in particular fields of law."
    • Under Rule 7.4(c), however, a lawyer may not "state or imply that the lawyer has been recognized or certified as a specialist in a particular field of law."
  • An exception applies to certain limited circumstances for patent lawyers and admiralty lawyers.

Another exception exists for lawyers that have been certified as a specialist by a "named organization." If the attorney has been certified as a specialist, the advertisement must contain a disclaimer stating that there is no procedure in Vermont for approving certifying organizations. The disclaimer is not required if the organization has been accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers as specialists in a particular field of law." See Rule 7.4(c).

Read more about how attorneys in Vermont can become board certified in the specialty practice area of the law.

This article was last updated on Friday, December 27, 2019.