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The Importance of Compliance in Legal Marketing and Case Acquisition

Erin Hively Jan 29, 2024
Compliance in Legal Marketing and Case Acquisition

Compliance with all applicable laws and guidelines pertaining to legal marketing and client acquisition should be a top priority for every law firm. These include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), American Bar Association (ABA) guidelines, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. The TCPA, ABA guidelines, and FCC regulations collectively constitute a comprehensive framework for responsible communication and ethical conduct. By abiding by these rules, law firms can demonstrate their commitment to ethical practices, client protection, and compliance with the law. On the other hand, violations can result in substantial financial penalties as well as impact your firm's reputation.

At SimplyConvert, we work diligently to stay apprised of changes to these laws and regulations, and we take all necessary steps to ensure our tools remain in compliance. We meticulously review and adhere to these regulations, offering law firms a reliable platform for lead generation, client intake, and case management. SimplyConvert's proactive approach to compliance empowers legal professionals to navigate the complexities of marketing, client intake, and case management with confidence and the assurance that they are protected from inadvertently violating any of these important guidelines.



Formal Opinion 506 issued in June 2023 by the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, provides guidance on the responsibilities of lawyers when utilizing nonlawyer assistants in client intake processes. The opinion emphasizes the importance of ensuring that nonlawyer assistance aligns with a lawyer's ethical duties. Under Model Rule 5.3, various tasks can be delegated to trained intake personnel. However, lawyers must take steps to guarantee that prospective clients have the opportunity to discuss fee agreements and the scope of representation with the specific lawyer that would be representing them, prior to signing an engagement letter —not just an attorney employed by an intake center or marketing firm.  

While acknowledging the advantages of using nonlawyer assistants, the ABA is clearly reminding lawyers of the importance of a proper client acquisition process. A large percentage of plaintiff law firms utilize electronic signatures on client engagement letters. The use of electronic signatures for client engagement letters has led to an increased number of law firms outsourcing client acquisition entirely. This Ethics Opinion is a reminder that the important first conversation between firm and prospective client can’t be completely outsourced. Lawyers must put in place proper policies, training, and supervision to prevent ethical violations and negative consequences for clients and lawyers. 

At SimplyConvert, our automated intake and case management platform is, in essence, a non-lawyer assistant, and, therefore, must comply with formal opinion 506. When prospective clients use our intake platform to sign up for your firm’s representation, they are always presented with the option to contact their potential lawyer about fee agreements and the scope of the proposed legal representation. The same is true for our chatbot, which will direct individuals with questions of this nature to contact their potential attorney directly, in accordance with opinion 506.

Additionally, Formal Opinion 506 discusses the application of Model Rule 5.5, which determines whether nonlawyers can answer specific legal questions based on jurisdictional definitions. SimplyConvert was created and is managed by lawyers who are committed to legal ethics. Lawyers created two proprietary AI safeguards to make sure that a client engagement letter is not provided to a potential client approaching statute issues. Furthermore, SimplyConvert consistently picks the conservative route, allowing time for a lawyer to review the legal issue prior to issuing a client engagement letter.  

Our tool automatically accounts for the conflict of interest requirements outlined by the ABA in several ways. During our client onboarding process, SimplyConvert discusses several available options with each firm.

Specifically, our intake process enables firms to perform a conflict check before agreeing to accept a new client acquired through our platform. Additionally, the sensitive data from every individual firm we work with is secured and completely separated from any other firms on our platform. The sharing of any client information only occurs if a firm consents to join SimplyConvert’s Dual Representation Checker. Lastly, our platform ensures that all communications coming from non-lawyer personnel are noted as such and provides attorney contact information, in line with Formal Opinion 506.

Simply Convert is the leading legal intake software that leverages e-sign, whose entire intake process complies with Formal Opinion 506 and has been reviewed and approved by a leading ethics attorney. Using Simply Convert’s intake system, you can be assured that you are in compliance with FO 506. 



The FCC is expected to soon introduce a new rule that will impact law firms that utilize automated text and email correspondence, particularly those using lead generation sites or comparison-shopping platforms to obtain consent for “robotexts.”

Under this rule, the "lead generator loophole" will be closed, and businesses will no longer be able to confer consent to all affiliated partners automatically. For lawyers, this means that all new leads will require express consent from their firm prior to contact, unlike before where the “loophole” allowed marketing contact for individuals who had previously consented to contact from another law firm. Instead, consumers must have the option to individually select each seller they wish to receive texts from or provide express written consent directly to the specific business. These new regulations are an attempt to protect consumers from potential scammers and a constant barrage of marketing emails and text messages that they never signed up for. It will also prevent the all-too-common practice of lead generators repeatedly selling the same leads to different firms.

It is essential for every law firm to have solutions that completely adhere to this upcoming FCC regulation. At SimplyConvert, we work diligently to stay apprised of these changes, ensure our tools remain in compliance, and be able to offer law firms a reliable platform for lead generation, client intake, and case management. Our robust opt-in procedures ensure awareness and agreement before any individual receives a single automated communication. Additionally, our continuous compliance monitoring and process updates, along with user education about new requirements and best practices, ensure continued compliance and help our users understand changes to our platform. Lastly, our detailed record-keeping of consumer consent and preferences guarantees our solution fits the needs of every client.



The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a law enacted in 1991 to regulate telephone marketing calls and prevent certain predatory telemarketing practices. To comply with the TCPA, businesses, including law firms, first need to understand the following key provisions:

  1.   Consent: Firms must obtain explicit consent from individuals before making telemarketing calls or sending automated texts. This means individuals must opt in to receive such communications.
  2.   Time Restrictions: Telemarketing calls cannot be made before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. local time to avoid disrupting individuals during late or early hours.
  3.   National Do Not Call Registry: Firms must respect the National Do Not Call Registry, ensuring they do not contact individuals who have registered to avoid such calls.
  4.   Maintaining a Do-Not-Call List: Businesses are required to maintain their own do-not-call list based on previous declines or opt-outs of calls and emails. They must also honor those on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  5.   Caller Identification: Callers must clearly identify themselves, state on whose behalf they are calling, and provide a phone number or address for the caller or entity.

Violation of TCPA rules can lead to severe penalties. For each violation, a subscriber may sue for up to $500. It's important to note that each individual outreach, such as a text or phone call, can be considered a separate violation. In cases of willful violation, the damages may increase to $1,500 per violation.

As a legal platform designed to help law firms generate new leads, correspond with leads and existing clientele, and manage cases, we take our obligation to abide by TCPA regulations very seriously. By diligently adhering to TCPA guidelines and best practices throughout our marketing, client acquisition, and case management solutions, law firms can demonstrate their commitment to compliance while advocating for their clients' interests.

For more information on the TCPA, read our opinion piece in Law360.

If you have any questions about your firm’s compliance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are glad to set up a time to discuss your situation.