August 1961

SOLICITATION—ADVERTISING--The name ''Legal Clinic" may not properly be given to a building which is built by a group of attorneys and which is to be used by them as an office building.

Canon 24.


Several attorneys contemplate building their own office building and propose to give the building some name identifying it with the Law.

Would there be any objection, under the Canons of Ethics, to using the name of "Legal Clinic" for such a building?


The committee is of the opinion that the use of the name "Legal Clinic" for such a building is sufficiently close to advertising and is enough below the dignity of the profession that it should be labeled a failure to conform to the general standards of the profession as well as a failure to conform to Canon 24.

There is nothing unethical in lawyers, individually or as a group, building an office building on their own; further, there is nothing wrong with giving any name desired to the building as long the name is not misleading or as long as it does not constitute indirect advertising. For example, "Court House Annex" would be a misleading name because it indicates some kind of official building, and it would constitute indirect advertising and could be considered solicitation business by the lawyers involved to call such a building "Legal Clinic." Lawyers cannot practice under such an assumed name or trade name, and it has been held (New York City opinions 596 and 645) that a listing of "Legal Clinic" cannot be inserted in a telephone directory. (9-0.)