As the economy sputters and every morning’s inbox is greeted with news of law firm layoffs and “out of business” signs, it highlights an obstacle to the business of law that is unique to this profession — often-stringent state bar rules of professional conduct related to advertising and marketing.

For the past 30 years, state bars have taken a roller coaster approach to regulating lawyer advertising. However, the rules continue to block entrepreneurial lawyers and firms from soliciting and acquiring business at a time when “anything (ethical) to survive” should be the mantra.

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