A client of mine, a member of the Bar and a member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, wishes to enter a new business providing a service to lawyers.
Specifically, he wishes to offer printing services to lawyers similar to those offered by any other printer. However, because of his many years of legal practice he feels that he can render this printing service on a more intelligent basis and more closely .tailored to the needs of lawyers than can people who are printers but who have no legal background, as such.
The question, therefore, is: Can a lawyer solicit non-legal business from other lawyers and indicate to them that he is also an attorney?
Since attorneys regularly advertise in the NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL offering trial services, brief writing services, etc. to other attorneys, it appears that there is no prohibition against attorneys soliciting from other attorneys; nor does it appear that there is any prohibition against a lawyer soliciting non-legal business from the public provided such activities are not a feeder to his legal practice or otherwise designed to take business away from other attorneys.
In view of these considerations, it would appear that the activity contemplated by my client is designed to provide bona fide and valuable service to lawyers, is not in competition with other lawyers, and is consistent with the dignity and needs of the profession.
We see no reason why in addition to practicing law, an attorney may not conduct separately a business, in this case, printing. In soliciting printing business .from lawyers, we think it is proper for him to state that he believes he can give them better printing service by reason of his being an attorney provided he in no way solicits his retention as an attorney in contravention of Canon 27.
June 9, 1966