Monthly Archives: December 2013

Keep it Simple





You have no doubt seen signs like the one above, either inside a pet supply store or at a shopping center.  The message is simple, yet effective.  Though veterinarians do not have to adhere (to my knowledge) to advertising restrictions such as those imposed on lawyers in most states, there is no state in the U.S. that would disallow a similar announcement that “low cost legal assistance” or a “flat fee lawyer” will be at a particular place at a specific time.

You do not have to use terms like “unbundled” or “limited scope services” to meet communication rules.  Keep it simple and not misleading and you will be both effective and ethical.

The ABA Model Rules require that communications relating to a lawyer’s services:

  • are not false or misleading (by statements made or omitted) (Rule 7.1)
  • include the lawyer’s name (Rule 7.2)
  • are not communicated through inappropriate solicitation efforts (Rule 7.3)

You may recall my post last year about lawyers who set up temporary space in a Florida shopping mall to be near their target clients.  So far this year, there appear to be more shoppers out.  Even if you need to obtain an  advertising review (such as in Texas), you should still have time to get the word out for the after-Christmas action.

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Lawyers as Entrepreneurs

It isn’t as antithetical as one might think:  lawyers are generally very creative and many are employed in ways where they frequently provide practical guidance to entrepreneurs and other business people.  My previous post was about recent research indicating that some of the obstacles to an uptake in LSR services are self-imposed.  That “bad” side of conservatism for which the legal profession is too easily lampooned.  (Remember the jokes about how lawyers took so long to embrace technology?)

In that context, it is quite refreshing to see experienced, successful private law firms branching out into creative, entrepreneurial lines of legal services intended to meet the needs of the HUGE under-served pool of prospective clients out there.  One example of that is Negotiated Divorce.  Dig into their website and you will see an approach that blends online access, self-help features and related services for those who need more.

Lawyers are quintessential problem- solvers. You’d think more of them would take on the challenge of solving our legal service delivery problems the way Negotiated Divorce has begun to do.

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