May 1961

SOLICITATION—ADVERTISEMENTS—PUBLICATION OF A PROFESSIONAL CARD IN A COLLEGE ALUMNI MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER—It is unethical for a lawyer to publish any paid advertisement in an alumni magazine or newspaper, even though it is in a section labeled "Alumni Business and Professional Directory."

 Canons 24, 39.


A college alumni publication desires to develop a new section to be entitled "Alumni Business and Professional Directory." The publishers solicit paid listing in the nature of professional cards, containing the professional or business man's name, profession, address and telephone number, thus being similar to the usual paid listing of a lawyer in the yellow pages of the telephone directory.

Is it unethical for a lawyer to list in such a directory.


A lawyer, as a general rule, may not publish any paid advertisement. Texas Canon 24; and see Texas opinions 200 and 210. This is true even though the advertisement is of a professional card such as a calling card or an announcement card. See A.B.A opinions 182, 203 and 276, and Texas opinions 169 and 96.

Some confusion apparently still exists, and it may be attributable in part to the fact that one may make some use, other than publication, of an announcement card (see Texas opinion 209), and in part to the existing exceptions to the general rule prohibiting publication of advertisements. The two more usual exceptions are, first, that a professional card may be published in reputable law lists (for the reason that Canon 39 expressly so provides), and, second, that the usual unobtrusive telephone listing may be inserted in the yellow pages or classified advertisement section of the telephone book. The latter exception has been recognized by committee opinion because the interests of a client in trying to locate a lawyer already selected justify such a limited advertisement. See A.B.A. opinion 295 (Aug. 1, 1959), and cf. Texas opinion 190. Such justification is seldom applicable to any other form of advertisement, and is obviously not applicable here.

The suggested advertisement, not falling within any recognized exception, is unethical. Accord, Texas opinion 192, and A.B.A. opinion 221. (9-0.)