Governments & legal guilds are loosening the restriction on how lawyers market themselves in Australia & other Western nations. This in turn led to a number of opportunities for practitioners to have their services to have the much needed visibility it deserves. The developments that happened over the past few years resulted to the changing face of justice. Let us look at how law is being marketed today.
Before we dive in how law is marketing today, it should be noted that the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014 did not include the prohibition on advertising personal injury legal services that had existed in the now repealed Legal Profession Regulation 2005. This is the reason why unlike other professionals, lawyers are restricted from advertising freely by their governing bodies. On the other hand, Barristers are restricted by the rules of the Bar Council while at the same time the Law Society’s regulations on solicitor advertising are more liberal. For that matter, the Competition Authority published even published a report about competition in the legal field, concluding the legal profession urging the need for a reform to happen. Change was needed due to the fact that competition was severely hindered by many unnecessary restrictions and the removal of these restrictions was vital for the consumers to benefit from greater competition in legal services.
Fortunately in May 2008, the Bar Council took some heed of this report and changed the rules regarding advertising for barristers. As a result, through the Bar Council’s website barristers are now able to advertise themselves by placing certain information within them. On the other hand solicitors face many restrictions in place limiting the manner and content of the advertisements even though they are not barred from advertising. The Competition Authority has also deemed these restrictions unnecessary in its report which is good to hear.
As of today, advertising for legal services has become more open and accessible to a huge number of individuals. As a result, clients will be able to find legal aid at any given time when the need calls for them to do so. It is all about marketing within the law and that is currently changing just about every year. With that being said those who looking on advertising as a means to promote their business will need to take a few considerations to help them avoid having problems with the authorities in the future.
Ads that are in bad taste or are likely to bring the profession into disrepute are prohibited by the solicitor advertising regulations. The same can also be said with regards to advertising for personal injury damages which is strictly restricted. The location of where the advert will be posted is also something that needs to be taken into considerations as well. Advertising on the back of buses or next to death notices is very much illegal to solicitors. This is due to the fact with the number of complaints people have been receiving about an ad on the roof of an ambulance and the one in a funeral home. Furthermore, the use of cartoons, dramatic or emotive words or picture is prohibited and the same can also be said when referring to calamitous events, such as train, bus crashes or other similar incidents.