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NUMBER 373 1945
Question. Is it professionally proper for a lawyer to insert in a professional periodical, such as the New York Law Journal, published exclusively for members of the legal profession, a dignified announcement or advertisement, addressed to members of the Bar, concerning a position desired by such lawyer as an associate or employee of another lawyer, or as a member of the legal staff of a corporation?
Answer. The insertion in such a professional publication of a dignified announcement or advertisement addressed to members of the Bar seeking a full time position with other attorney or attorneys, or with the legal staff of a corporation, is not prohibited by Canon 27, and is not professionally improper. Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association, which is substantially identical with Canon 27 of Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar Association, concerns itself primarily with the evils of advertising professional skill for the purpose of increasing professional clientele. It does not, in the judgment of the subcommittee, extend to the publication of an advertisement in a professional periodical intended, as the New York Law Journal, for circulation primarily among lawyers, announcing that a lawyer is seeking a regular position with other lawyers, or on the legal staff of a corporation.
Opinion 244 of the Committee of Professional Ethics and Grievances of the American Bar Association overruled Opinion 79, which that Committee rendered August 27, 1932, and expressly approved an attorney seeking in a dignified manner through advertisement or otherwise, a full time position as counsel for a corporation. In its opinion, the Committee stated:
To construe Canon 27 as precluding lawyers from advertising or soliciting in a proper and dignified manner full time positions with a corporate client, will, in our opinion, in no way tend to improve the professional ethics of the Bar, nor do we believe it would be accepted as reasonable by the large body of the Bar whose approval is necessary to provide adequate enforcement.
Such impractical and unnecessary prohibitions tend to impair the respect on the part of the Bar, not only for the common sense of the Committee, but for the Canons themselves.