Professional Regulation

Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation

On January 22, 2010, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved, effective immediately, a proposed amendment to the Rules of Court that sunset the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation. The bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics is now responsible for responding to opinion requests dealing with issues relating to lawyer advertising and solicitation.

At its meeting on August 1, 2018, the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics withdrew 12 Legal Advertising Opinions (LAOs) issued by the former Standing Committee on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation. The reason for this decision is that some of the LAOs have become obsolete, superseded by amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct, or have been restated in whole or in part in LEO 1750

The bar’s Legal Ethics Department provides a primary function in the role of monitoring lawyer advertising and will continue to monitor and alert lawyers of violations or potential violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, primarily Rules 7.1 – 7.5, in an effort to help lawyers avoid the disciplinary process. Ethics Counsel will issue non-compliance letters to alert lawyers of problematic electronic advertisements, including Internet, radio, and television advertisements.

One Legal Advertising Opinion remains current and enforceable: Legal Advertising Opinion A-0114 concerns communication to the public involving a lawyer’s recognition by a listing in a publication such as The Best Lawyers in America.

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Prescreening of Lawyer Advertising

Any Virginia lawyer can seek an informal opinion as to whether their advertising material is in compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. The advertising material can be submitted to the Legal Ethics Department for review by the ethics staff attorneys. Submit advertising material to

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Request an Informal Legal Ethics Opinion regarding Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation

Legal Ethics Opinions (LEO) are written based on a hypothetical set of facts presented by the requesting attorney and reflect the judgment of the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics. An LEO applies ethics rules to a hypothetical set of facts and states whether the activity or conduct complies with or violates such ethics rules. The committee will not decide questions of law, nor will it make any factual determinations. Also, the committee will not issue an opinion if a prior LEO is dispositive of the inquiry. Finally, the committee may decline to issue an opinion if the issue or question raised is the subject of collateral litigation or a pending bar complaint. If you need a timely response to a question about lawyer advertising and solicitation, please consult with the Ethics Hotline: (804) 775-0564 or

A Virginia lawyer may request an Informal Opinion by completing the “Legal Ethics Opinion Request Form,” which is available for download below; or you can contact Kristi Hall at (804) 775-0557 or to arrange to have the form faxed or mailed to you.

Downloadable Request Form for an Advertising Opinion: 
Request for Opinion (Word doc)
Request for Opinion (fillable pdf)


Checklist for Lawyers who Advertise

This checklist will assist lawyers in preparing advertisements that will comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct.


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Updated: Nov 01, 2019