Saturday, July 18, 2015

No, you can't try to get clients by offering them door prizes!

Addressing what in class I call the "chicken dinner" approach to attracting clients, the North Carolina State Bar recently announced 2015 Formal Ethics Opinion 3: Offering Prospective Client a Computer Tablet in Direct Mail Solicitation, which concludes that a lawyer may not offer a computer tablet to a prospective client in a direct mail solicitation letter.

I would have thought this is obvious!  I am surprised a formal opinion was needed to clarify it.  One of the reasons attorneys are not allowed to provide financial assistance to clients (in litigation) is that we don't want to see a market for legal services based on which firm can offer the best dinners...  For this reason, it would seem obvious, to me at least, that it would be improper to offer prizes to prospective clients.

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