Advertising Review

New Advertising Rules Effective July 1, 2021

New Advertising Rules FAQ

The Advertising Review application fee is $100.

The Advertising Review Department is responsible for reviewing attorney and law firm advertisements and solicitation communications as required by Part VII of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.1

The Advertising Review Portal is now available to any attorney through the attorney’s My Bar Page. Through the portal, attorneys can complete an advertising review application, upload media files, pay fees, check the status of recent submissions, and receive status notifications from the Advertising Review Department. The portal’s homepage provides a “how to” video and a detailed user guide to ensure attorneys can easily navigate the submission process.

Preapproval of Advertisements/Solicitation Communications

We encourage attorneys to electronically file advertisements and solicitation communications for approval prior to disseminating them. While preapproval is not required, it is easier and possibly less expensive if any changes are needed to comply with the rules. Also, preapproval offers benefits under the disciplinary rules.
Rule 7.04(c):

  • A lawyer who desires to secure pre-approval of an advertisement or solicitation communication may submit to the Advertising Review Committee, not fewer than thirty (30) days prior to the date of first dissemination, either the advertisement or solicitation communication OR, in the case of an advertisement or solicitation communication that has not yet been produced, the proposed text, production script, or other description, including details about the illustrations, actions, events, scenes, and background sounds that will be depicted.

  • A finding of noncompliance by the Advertising Review Committee is not binding in a disciplinary proceeding or action, but a finding of compliance is binding in favor of the submitting lawyer as to all materials submitted for preapproval if the lawyer fairly and accurately described the advertisement or solicitation communication that was later produced. A finding of compliance is admissible evidence if offered by a party.

Advertisements and Solicitation Communications approved prior to July 2021

  • If an advertisement published prior to July 1, 2021, was compliant with the prior rules, the advertisement is not required to be submitted for review again, unless a change in the ad is required to bring the advertisement into compliance with rules made effective in 2005.

  • If an attorney determines that no modifications to the ad are necessary to comply with the rules effective July 1, 2021, no submission is necessary. However, if challenged, the burden rests on the attorney to demonstrate compliance.

  • If an attorney alters a previously approved advertisement to attain compliance with the rules, or for any other reason, and the change is substantive, the ad must be filed with a new application and fee.

Ad Review Advisories

If an attorney decides against submitting an advertisement for any reason and is challenged, the burden rests on the attorney to demonstrate compliance.

If an ad comes to our attention that has not been filed and it is not exempt from the rules, the State Bar may assess a $250 fine and a $100 review fee for failure to comply with the filing requirements.

Failure to file a non-exempt ad is also a violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.2

Contact Ad Review

If you have any questions regarding how to file your applications, fee, and submission in the Advertising Review Portal, or questions regarding the rules, please feel free to contact us. The most efficient contact method is through email at adreview@texasbar.com. Phone: 800-566-4616

Additional Informational Links

Professional Ethics Committee Opinions

  • Criminal Solicitation Letter Opinion
    An Attorney General opinion that discusses applicability of the barratry statute as it relates to attorneys that send written solicitation to criminal defendants.

  • Ethics Opinion Number 547
    A Professional Ethics Committee opinion concerning arrangements between law firms and groups of medical professionals. The opinion discusses whether or not it is permissible under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct3 for medical professionals to fund the law firm’s television advertising.

  • Ethics Opinion Number 548
    A Professional Ethics Committee opinion discussing whether it is permissible under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct4 for a nonprofit entity to display the law firm’s name as a sponsor of the entity on the entity’s website.

  • Ethics Opinion Number 550
    A Professional Ethics Committee opinion discussing whether it is permissible under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct to use the titles of “Dr.,” “Doctor,” or “Doctor of Jurisprudence,” or “J.D.” in a social and/or professional communication.

  • Ethics Opinion Number 573
    A Professional Ethics Committee opinion discussing what requirements must be met under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in order for a Texas lawyer to participate in a privately sponsored internet service that obtains information over the internet from potential clients about their legal problems and forwards the information to lawyers who have paid to participate in the internet service.

Note:

1. Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Effective 6/1/05). All licensed Texas attorneys must follow these rules.

2. Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Effective 6/1/05). All licensed Texas attorneys must follow these rules.

3. Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Effective 6/1/05). All licensed Texas attorneys must follow these rules.

4. Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Effective 6/1/05). All licensed Texas attorneys must follow these rules.

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