NYSBA Ethics Opinion 16

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NYSBA Ethics Opinion 16

Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #16 – 11/01/1965 (5-65)

Topic: Advertising. City Directory
Digest: Not improper for lawyer to have name in a simple listing of lawyers’ names, either alphabetically or classified
Canon: None


The publishers of a City Directory are soliciting lawyers for the publication of their names, individually or as a firm, in a section of the directory entitled “Index to Advertisers”.  The names or the subscribers would appear in bold type in a section of the directory devoted to advertisements which include, among other things, advertisements from various types of business concerns.In another section of the directory entitled “Classified”, all lawyers in the City are listed.May an attorney properly permit his name to be published in the Directory?


It is improper for a lawyer to perm it his name to be listed as a lawyer in any directory other than one listing only the names of lawyers and approved by the Standing Committee on Law Lists of the American Bar Association.  This does not prohibit the simple listing of a lawyer’s name in an alphabetical or classified directory under the general heading of “Lawyers” or “Attorneys-at-Law”, (See American Bar Association Opinion No. 286.) In such a directory the lawyer’ s name may not be listed in bold face type, (See American Bar Association Opinion No. 428), nor can it be listed in an index of advertisers or with names of persons engaged in other business or professions except in a simple unclassified alphabetical list, like a telephone or city directory.

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