Canon 27 of the ABA Canons of Professional Ethics, adopted by the American Bar Association in 1908, provided that it was "unprofessional" for lawyers to advertise or solicit professional employment. This prohibition made sense in a time when most lawyers were general practitioners and communities were small, so that a lawyer's reputation was well known. However, the increasing size and complexity of both society and the law have made it necessary for lawyers to select certain areas of law in which to practices in order to develop the expertise necessary to deal with today's complex legal issues. A corresponding need has developed to inform the public about the detail and variety of legal services that are available.
Kenneth J. Alcott,
Lawyer Advertising: Permissibility of Indicating the Nature of Legal Practice in Advertisements,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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