NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATIONCommittee on
Opinion #316 - 12/18/1973
Topic: Advertising; brochure describing law partnership
Digest: Brochure listing lawyers in firm and describing their
Code: DR 2-101(A) and (B); DR 2-105 (A); cf. DR 2-102(A)(2); Canon 9;
May a law firm prepare a brochure to be given to clients or
prospective clients concerning the number of lawyers in the firm, their
educational background, their experience and other pertinent information
concerning activities of the firm?
A brochure describing the activities of a law firm and the
qualifications and experience of its members tend to unduly emphasize
the importance of the firm and the competence of its partners, including
very possibly their expertise in various branches of the law.
Distributions by lawyers of such material to clients and prospective
clients would constitute a form of advertising clearly proscribed by the
Code. DR 2-101(A) and (B); DR 2-105(A); cf. DR 2-102(A)(2).
The apparent purpose of the brochure would be the indirect
solicitation of legal business in violation of the traditional ban
against such conduct. EC 2-9. The mere appearance of such impropriety
should be avoided. Canon 9.
For these reasons the issuance of the brochure is disapproved. See,
Matter of Connelly, 18 A.D. 2d 466, 479, 240 N.Y.S. 2d 126, 139 (1st
Dept. 1963/; ABA Inf. 530 (1962); N.Y. City 615 (1942).
This opinion does not prohibit appropriate answers to unsolicited
inquiries concerning the firm.