Can you imagine your law firm on Groupon?
The daily deals site is a popular place for savvy shoppers. You can find offers for local restaurants, cafes, and spas. Soon you may even find legal services advertised on the site.
The South Carolina Bar issued an ethics opinion on the matter last year. It decided Groupon-like advertisements do not violate ethics rules. The New York Bar Association Committee on Ethics has issued a similar decision. Advertising on "deal of the day" websites is permissible -- with some caveats.
Below is a summary of parts of the opinion:
Now it may be difficult for you to imagine offering your services on a "group coupon" site. In fact, it may be impossible for some practice areas. Case in point: it likely wouldn't be feasible to offer your M&A work at a discount rate.
But the New York Bar's opinion cited one service that could be advertised on Groupon-esque sites: preparing a simple will. Lawyers could offer a discounted price of $200 for a will they normally charge $400 for.
More states may make similar ethics decisions. The real question is: would you put your law firm's services up for sale on Groupon?