What Types of Advertisements Must Be Submitted?
Most public marketing efforts must be submitted to the Advertising Review Committee as required by Part VII of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct*.
But not all advertisements are required to be submitted for review. Some ads are exempt from the submission requirements.
Part VII: Part VII from the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct* regarding information about lawyer advertising. Download and read these rules carefully.
In general, these ads should be submitted:
Rule 7.07(e) has a list of items that IF they are the only items listed in your advertisement, an ad is exempt from the submission requirement. If an ad contains descriptive elements not listed in the rule, the ad must be filed.
If an advertisement published prior to June 1, 2005, 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 June 1, 2005, 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.
Since each ad is unique, no general statement can be made regarding whether a particular alteration of an ad constitutes a substantive change or assures compliance.
Remember, 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*.
Do you still have questions after reviewing the information on this page? Please contact us.
State Bar of Texas
Advertising Review Department
* Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Effective 6/1/05) [PDF]: All licensed Texas attorneys must follow these rules.