3. Submitting to State Bar of Texas
• Applications require at least one printed copy of
the material, the completed and signed
application form (including the bar number of the
responsible attorney), and a $100 application
fee. Applications must be mailed.
• You can submit advertising material for
preapproval – which takes 25 days – or
concurrent approval, which allows you to submit
at the same time as dissemination (and takes up
to 40 days for review).
4. Submitting to State Bar of Texas
Ethics Tip: Be careful discussing fees! Even if you claim to work on a
contingency fee basis, you must provide additional disclosures in the
advertisement. The application form specifically ASKS about this, so make
sure you are in compliance from the start.
Rule 7.04(h): If an advertisement in the public media by a lawyer or firm discloses the willingness or
potential willingness of the lawyer or firm to render services on a contingent fee basis, the advertisement
must state whether the client will be obligated to pay all or any portion of the court costs and, if
a client may be liable for other expenses, this fact must be disclosed. If a specific percentage of fees
or fee ranges of contingent fee work are disclosed in such advertisement, it must also disclose whether
the percentage is computed before or after expenses are deducted from the recovery.
Ethics Tip: If you have client reviews or testimonials in your advertisement
(even just text), you must include the client’s full name, address, and phone
number on the application form.
5. Submitting to State Bar of Texas
Website included the language: “We’ve beaten the largest and most
powerful corporations and people in America, yielding substantial verdicts
and settlements and, more importantly, greater patient safety for everyone.”
Initially rejected by SBOT, but after submitting two articles published in the
National Law Journal verifying the claims, the firm was able to substantiate
the sentence and get approval for the language.
Just because your first application was rejected
doesn’t mean you can’t make your case to the
Advertising Review Committee.
6. Social Media Marketing: Top Channels
• What channels are necessary for law firms?
• What channels are good to add to that list and
• What do you use social media advertising for?
Rule 7.05 states that if a lawyer intends to contact a prospective client through these means, the
communication must not involve coercion, duress, fraud, overreaching, intimidation, undue influence, or
harassment; contain false or misleading information about the lawyer’s qualifications or services; or contain
false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statements or claims.
Ethics Tip: Because social media communication very often involves
the direct asking of questions and the delivery of answers, an
attorney-client relationship may be inadvertently formed. Include a
7. Directories & Citations
• What online lawyer directories are important for
• What other digital citations are important and
• How do you track NAP?
Ethics Tip: As potential clients increasingly turn to online matching services,
the sharing of fees with those services in exchange for origination may
constitute illegal fee sharing with a non-lawyer.
Ethics Opinion 573: Because Internet directories are seen by their users as electronic
versions of telephone directories, users can be assumed to understand that a directory is not
recommending the lawyers listed in the directory.
Interpretive Comment 17 (H): A lawyer or law firm’s listing on a web-based directory that is
accessible to the public is exempt from the filing requirements.
8. Email Marketing
• What email marketing software do you use?
• How often do you send emails out and what’s in
them/who do they go to?
• How do you make adjustments based on
Ethics Tip: In the US, the major email law is the CAN-SPAM Act (largely
unchanged in its 16 years), and it comes with fines up to $42,530 if you’re not
careful. Some common requirements are to include your company’s physical
address on each email and always allow for unsubscribes.
Rule 7.03(a): Sending emails to recipients who have not opted in or otherwise requested such
communications can constitute barratry.
• How did you select your logo / how do you create
logos for clients?
• What components of a company’s branding need to
• What branding that’s not yours have you seen and
loved and why?
Ethics Tip: Until now, law firms were restricted to using the names of
lawyers at that firm to create the firm name, with or without a few additions
like an entity designation, or words like ‘the’, ‘law’, ‘firm’ and ‘group’. Recent
updates to the rules eliminate the former prohibition against practicing under
a trade name.
Trade Names: The 2019 proposed rule changes allow firms to use trade names and not just
the names or letters of names of those in a firm.