The NY Bar has a new set of rules for lawyers floating around.  Apparently, they got wind of the blatant cheeseball spamming lawyers are employing to solicit clients on the internet.  I'd cite examples, but they'd probably get me sued :(  They responded in spades, though:

1. "… content …shall be predominantly informational, and shall be designed to increase public awareness of situations in which the need for legal services may arise … "  In other words, keyword stuffing and landing pages are out.  It always amazed me that law firms posted this crap to begin with.  A "Juris Doctor" should not be spamming — this is clear.

2. "An advertisement or solicitation shall not depict the use of a courtroom or courthouse."  Can we say cheeseball?

3. "An advertisement or solicitation shall not utilize a nickname, moniker, motto, or trade name that implies an ability to obtain results in a matter."  Ok, so www.super-duper-lawyers-for-you-in-kansas-city-missouri-free-sucky-sucky-with-retainer.com is out.  

4. It also says legal web sites cannot employ irrelevant keyword stuffing in the meta tags, pop-ups.  I've never seen this either …

So, basically, the NY Bar is trying to accomplish a lot of what Google is doing for them anyway.  But man, I'm glad someone finally said something about it.  What really puzzles me is why anyone would commission a lawyer who does this stuff to get cases.  If he's doing anything shady to get rankings, what does that say about his values as a whole?

Unfortunately, the same document includes several stipulations that seem reactionary.  Among other things, it may require lawyers to print and submit every revision of a blog post to the NY bar.  This is ridiculous — I agree.

But is it any more ridiculous than lawyers soliciting clients using obviously black hat techniques?

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