June 1964

ADVERTISING—SHINGLE. A sign on the door to a lawyer's office may not properly include the descriptive words "General Practice."

Canon 24.


A. B. C. Smith, a lawyer and D. E. F. Jones, a layman engaged in another business, together occupy a suite of offices in the White Building. There is a common entrance and the suite consists of a common reception room and two separate private offices. Jones is well known in his business; his name and occupation appear first on the door, and below this appears "Law Office of A. B. C. Smith."

Many clients, new and old, have assumed that Smith is new house counsel for Jones and for Jones' various companies and that Smith is not in the general practice of law. Smith desires to change the lettering to:

A. B. C. Smith

Attorney & Counselor at Law

General Practice

The White Building will not permit any occupant to put "Attorney" or the equivalent after his name in the building directory in the lobby. There is no other office available in the building to which Smith can move.

Is it proper to use the proposed sign?


No. A "general practice" sign should not be used as a shingle. Cf. A.B.A. Opinion 286. The location of the office is unfortunate, but nevertheless a shingle should simply identify the person as an attorney without attempting to describe the scope of his practice. It seems, however that "Law Offices," "Attorney," "Lawyer," "Counselor," and "Attorney & Counselor at Law" are acceptable identifications of the person as an attorney. Perhaps the proposed sign, with "General Practice" omitted, would prove more satisfactory than the present sign. (9-0.)