Multilingual Legal Language Translations, Internet Advertising and Attorney Ethics

Attorney Advertising Services in All Languages

We discussed the importance of professional legal translation services not only for transnational litigation but also for multilingual marketing to acquire foreign-born and foreign-language-speaking clients: Although the Rules of Professional Conduct provide basic standards for attorney advertising, marketing and solicitation, they tend to provide no direct guidance for online marketing. In fact, most rules don’t even mention the words Internet or website! For most questions, the general rules are easy enough to apply, however things become more complex when online advertising blurs the line between advertising and solicitation.

So does a website constitute advertising or solicitation?

It all depends on the content. The basic content on a website is basically an online firm brochure. But unlike a printed brochure, a website has such applications as email, news groups, chats, etc and, depending on how they are used, can be considered tools for directly seeking new clients (advertising). To be safe, it is best to follow the basic requirement for attorney advertising for truthfulness, testimonial advertising, record keeping and content (such as jurisdictional limitations). Further, if a website includes a foreign language translation, it must be made clear whether or not the actual attorney has foreign language abilities, or whether it is a member of the staff or outside provider that manages the foreign language translations.

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