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


[1]     This Rule governs all communications about a lawyer’s services, including advertising permitted by Rule 7.2. Whatever means are used to make known a lawyer’s services, statements about them must be truthful.

[2]    Truthful statements that are misleading are also prohibited by this Rule. In the absence of special circumstances that serve to protect the probable targets of a communication from being misled or deceived, a communication will violate Rule 7.1 if it:

(1)     is intended or is likely to result in a legal action or a legal position being asserted merely to harass or maliciously injure another;

(2)    contains statistical data or other information based on past performance or an express or implied prediction of future success;

(3)    contains a claim about a lawyer, made by a third party, that the lawyer could not personally make consistent with the requirements of this rule;

(4)    appeals primarily to a lay person’s fear, greed, or desire for revenge;

(5)    compares the services provided by the lawyer or a law firm with other lawyers’ services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;

(6)    contains any reference to results obtained that may reasonably create an expectation of similar results in future matters;

(7)    contains a dramatization or re-creation of events unless the advertising clearly and conspicuously discloses that a dramatization or re-creation is being presented;

(8)    contains a representation, testimonial, or endorsement of a lawyer or other statement that, in light of all the circumstances, is intended or is likely to create an unjustified expectation about a lawyer or law firm or a person’s legal rights;

(9)    states or implies that a lawyer is a certified or recognized specialist other than as permitted by Rule 7.4;

(10)  is prohibited by Rule 7.3.

[3]    See also Rule 8.4(e) for the prohibition against stating or implying an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

Rule 7.2: Advertising

(a)    Subject to the requirements of this rule, lawyers and law firms may advertise their professional services and law related services. The term “advertise” as used in these Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct refers to any manner of public communication partly or entirely intended or expected to promote the purchase or use of the professional services of a lawyer, law firm, or any employee of either involving the practice of law or law-related services.

(b)    A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending or advertising the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may:

(1)     pay the reasonable costs 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 described in Rule 7.3(d);

(3)    pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17; and

(4)    refer clients to another lawyer or a 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 agreement is not exclusive, and

(ii)    the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.

(c)     Any communication subject to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content. The lawyer or law firm responsible for the content of any communication subject to this rule shall keep a copy or recording of each such communication for six years after its dissemination.


[1]     To assist the public in obtaining legal services, lawyers should be allowed to make known their services not only through reputation but also through organized information campaigns in the form of advertising. Advertising involves an active quest for clients, contrary to the tradition that a lawyer should not seek clientele. However, the public’s need to know about legal services can be fulfilled in part through advertising.

[2]    Provided that the advertising otherwise complies with the requirements of the Rules of Professional Conduct, permissible subjects of advertising include:

(1)     name and contact information, including the name and contact information for an attorney, a law firm, and professional associates;

(2)    one or more fields of law in which the lawyer or law firm practices, using commonly accepted and understood definitions and designations;

(3)    date and place of birth;

(4)    date and place of admission to the bar of state and federal courts;

(5)    schools attended, with dates of graduation, degrees, and other scholastic distinctions;

(6)    academic, public or quasi-public, military, or professional positions held;

(7)    military service;

(8)    legal authorship;

(9)    legal teaching position;

(10)  memberships, offices, and committee assignments, in bar professional, scientific, or technical associations or societies;

(11)   memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies;

(12)  technical and professional licenses;

(13)  memberships in scientific, technical, and professional associations and societies;

(14)  foreign language ability;

(15)  names and addresses of bank references;

(16)  professional liability insurance coverage;

(17)  prepaid or group legal services programs in which the lawyer participates as allowed by Rule 7.3(d);

(18)  whether credit cards or other credit arrangements are accepted;

(19)  office and telephone answering service hours; and 

(20)  fees charged and other terms of service pursuant to which an attorney is willing to provide legal or law-related services.

[3]    Neither this Rule nor Rule 7.3 prohibits communications authorized by law, such as notice to members of a class in class action litigation.

[4]    Lawyers are not permitted to pay others for channeling professional work. Paragraph (b)(1), however, allows a lawyer to pay for advertising and communications permitted by this Rule, including the costs of print directory listings, on-line directory listings, newspaper ads, television and radio airtime, domain-name registrations, sponsorship fees, banner ads, and group advertising. A lawyer may compensate employees, agents, and vendors who are engaged to provide marketing or client-development services, such as publicists, public-relations personnel, business-development staff, and website designers. See Rule 5.3 for the duties of lawyers and law firms with respect to the conduct of non-lawyers who prepare marketing materials for them.


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