External Resources on Legal Advertising
Readers are encouraged to review these references to learn more about legal advertising and why the free flow of commercial information is indispensable.
Legal Advertising Resources Cited in LIDOCI Articles
The U.S. Supreme Court recognized attorneys’ constitutional right to advertise in the precedential case Bates v. State Bar of Arizona. The court considers legal advertising protected commercial speech, which serves individual and societal interests in assuring informed and reliable decision making.
The Federal Trade Commission’s purpose is to enforce laws prohibiting unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce. Pursuant to this statutory mandate, the FTC encourages competition in the licensed professions, including the legal profession, through enforcement of the antitrust laws and competition advocacy.
Read the Federal Trade Commission’s letters supporting attorneys right to advertise, which includes dozens of citations to law reviews and studies. The FTC holds that truthful and non-deceptive comparative advertising “is a source of important information to consumers, assists them in making rational purchase decisions, encourages product improvement and innovation, and can lead to lower prices in the marketplace.”
Advertising is “an immensely powerful instrument for the elimination of ignorance” and from which consumers derive substantial benefits, according to George J. Stigler’s “The Economics of Information.” Stigler argues that advertising is necessary because in every consumer market there will be a stream of new buyers requiring knowledge of companies selling those services sought.
American Bar Association Resources on Legal Advertising
For case law, articles, and support research on legal advertising, please visit the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility. Advertising can help people to better understand the legal services available to them and how to obtain those services, according to the ABA.