(a) Permissible Forms of Advertising. Subject to all the requirements set forth in these Rules, including the filing requirements of Rule 7.7, a lawyer may advertise services through public media, including but not limited to: print media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical; outdoor advertising, such as billboards and other signs; radio, television, and computer-accessed communications; recorded messages the public may access by dialing a telephone number; and written communication in accordance with Rule 7.4.

(b) Advertisements Not Disseminated in Louisiana. These Rules shall not apply to any advertisement broadcast or disseminated in another jurisdiction in which the advertising lawyer is admitted if such advertisement complies with the Rules governing lawyer advertising in that jurisdiction and is not intended for broadcast or dissemination within the state of Louisiana.

(c) Communications for Non-Profit Organizations. Publications, educational materials, websites and other communications by lawyers on behalf of non-profit organizations that are not motivated by pecuniary gain are not advertisements or unsolicited written communications within the meaning of these Rules.

Background

The Louisiana Supreme Court adopted this rule on June 26, 2008. It became effective October 1, 2009.

The LSBA has stated that “[a]ll inquiries regarding the new lawyer advertising rules (whether for lawyer advertising within LSBA publications or for lawyer advertising in outside media outlets) should be directed to Richard P. Lemmler, Jr., Ethics Counsel, Louisiana State Bar Association, 601 St. Charles Avemue, New Orleans, LA 70130; toll free: 1-800-421-LSBA (5722), ext. 144; direct dial: (504) 619-0144; fax: (504) 598-6753. The LSBA website for lawyer advertising is: http://www.lsba.org/Members/LawyerAdvertising.aspx.

Annotations

LSBA Resources

The Louisiana State Bar Association has assembled materials relating to lawyer advertising here: LSBA Resources on Lawyer Advertising. Among other resources, the LSBA has created a “Handbook on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation” to help Louisiana lawyers understand the new advertising provisions that became effective on October 1, 2009. The handbook includes, among other things:

  1. An overview of applicable regulations broken down by the type of advertisement/communication to which they apply.
  2. A reproduction of the actual Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct that deal with lawyer advertising and solicitation.
  3. Answers to frequently asked questions about lawyer advertising regulations.
  4. A Quick Reference Checklist for lawyer advertisers.
  5. Examples of exempt and non-exempt, compliant and non-compliant print advertisements and unsolicited written communications.

The handbook is available at: http://www.lsba.org/Members/LawyerAdvertising.aspx.

ABA Aspirational Goals

In 1988, the ABA adopted aspirational goals to provide nonbinding guidance to lawyers who advertise. See ABA Aspirational Goals on Lawyer Advertising (1988). The ABA noted that these aspirational goals were “not intended to establish mandatory requirements which might form the basis for disciplinary enforcement.” Rather, the goals were “intended to provide suggested objectives which all lawyers who engage in advertising their services should be encouraged to achieve in order that lawyer advertising may be more effective and reflect the professionalism of the legal community.” See id.

Federal Litigation

Note that several of the advertising rules that became effective on October 1, 2009 were the subject of First Amendment litigation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. See, e.g., Public Citizen, Inc.  v. La. Atty. Disciplinary Bd., 632 F.3d 212 (5th Cir. 2011); Public Citizen v. La. Atty. Disciplinary Bd., 642 F. Supp. 2d 539 (E.D. La. 2009). In that litigation, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declared several provisions in Louisiana Rules 7.5, 7.6 and 7.7 to be unconstitutional and unenforceable. Please see the sections containing those rules for additional details.

Notes

This page was updated on January 18, 2017.