Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #1985/6-9

July 8, 1986


A lawyer’s advertisement in a lawyer-paid law directory should not state or imply that the lawyer is a specialist in a particular field of law, and a listing indicating a limitation of practice to a particular field or specified area of law constitutes an improper advertisement.  (Rule 7.2; 7.4)

Advertising in a legal directory is specifically authorized under Rule 7.2.  (Rule 7.2).

Stating that a lawyer is a “specialist” in a particular field of law or that the lawyer’s practice is “limited to” or “concentrated in” particular fields is not permitted, except in certain areas (e.g. patents and trademarks, admiralty, and other areas authorized by the NH Supreme Court.)  (Rule 7.4).

A law directory may use a disclaimer to remedy the implication that a lawyer is a specialist in a particular area of law.  (Rule 7.2, Rule 7.4).


  1. May a New Hampshire lawyer list himself/herself in the Law Directory under a self-designated field of law?
  2. Is such a listing in effect holding oneself out as a specialist in a given area of law?

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