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Attorney Advertising:
Wisconsin Bar Guidelines and Rules

The Wisconsin State Bar’s rules for internet advertising and marketing can be daunting and confusing, which is why you should consider hiring a marketing firm that can help you navigate through all the regulations.

For example, you cannot share anything that would be considered false or misleading information about you and your law firm.

To read more on the Wisconsin Bar’s rules for advertising, look through the resources listed below.

 

Resources

Ethics: Rules for Marketing with Social Media – this link contains the rules for social media and marketing in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys – this link contains the rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys in Wisconsin.

 

Key rules to be aware of

SCR 20:7.1 Communications concerning a lawyer’s services

A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication is false or misleading if it:

(a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading;

(b) is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or implies that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

(c) compares the lawyer’s services with other lawyers’ services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated; or

(d) contains any paid testimonial about, or paid endorsement of, the lawyer without identifying the fact that payment has been made or, if the testimonial or endorsement is not made by an actual client, without identifying that fact.

 

SCR 20:7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media.

A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services, except that a lawyer may:

(1) pay the reasonable cost of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule;

(2) pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service. A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been approved by an appropriate regulatory authority;

(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with SCR 20:1.17; and

(4) refer clients to another lawyer or non-lawyer professional pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if

    (i) the reciprocal referral arrangement is not exclusive;

    (ii) the client gives informed consent;

    (iii) there is no interference with the lawyer’s independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship; and

    (iv) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by SCR 20:1.6.

(c) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.