Now don’t misunderstand me. When I say that the ability of lawyers to advertise has been unquestionably beneficial to our legal system, that does not mean I’m saying it has been nothing but beneficial to our legal system. Overall, the benefits outweigh the detriments.
While the most visible lawyer advertising is almost universally cheesy and in bad taste (and from only a few kinds of lawyers, mostly personal injury, disability, bankruptcy, and tax lawyers, and maybe divorce lawyers), and in some cases even misleading, the fact that lawyers can advertise makes it easier for people to be aware of lawyers’ services and how to make contact with lawyers to seek those services, so that they can get help through those services.
It would be wonderful if all advertising were held to a standard that prohibited any advertising that was false or misleading. But no such standard exists because no such standard can exist. Advertising is all around us and can be overwhelming. Advertising on and around every corner can be—and frequently is—an eyesore. Still, we benefit from advertising because it makes us aware of (free of charge to us and without us having to go to any effort to explore on our own) the goods and services available to us. Our lives are richer and safer and healthier and more enjoyable, etc. because we are made aware of the goods and services out there that but for advertising we would never learn of. Lawyer services are no exception.
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