Do the Florida Bar Rules Allow for Logos?

A white, rounded square logo with an abstract S-shaped design on a gradient blue and purple background.

In the related discussion of logos and why law firms do not have them, up came the issue of whether Florida law firms could have logos. Good question.

Florida law firms can have logos. My interpretation is that the Florida Bar rules do not cover logos. Here is the rule.

That specific rule is for advertisements and unsolicited communication, as the illustration language above comes under subsection. In fact, it is called: (b) Permissible Content of Advertisements and Unsolicited Written Communications. The specific (L) clause is about illustrations, not logos. Moreover, it is for unsolicited ads (i.e. direct mail for the most part, magazine ads, and yellow page ads).

Websites are still technically requests for info (although they are trying to change that) and any business cards, handouts, and letters would be requests for info, too. So they do not fall into that specific regulations of illustrations, and you can put whatever you want — so long as you are not misleading and deceptive.

Moreover, I think the rule is more for the main graphic of the page (i.e. the actual ad itself) as A-K related subsections are very precise on what can and can’t be in an unsolicited advertisement (i.e. whether you accept credit cards, foreign language, free consult).

Even in the most draconian review of that rule, if you do believe it applies to your logo, then in the worst case you may just need to have two sets of logos (one creative and icon based for the web) and one just a typeface to adhere to the rules (for direct mail / print ads). Many companies have a logo set that they can use for a variety of advertisements.

I don’t think that is the rule, though. I recommend you use whatever logo you want, so long as it’s not deceptive or misleading. What is deceptive? Well, the Bar went after a firm named “Pitbull Law Firm” at one time. But otherwise, you are probably fine, unless you put $$ in front of your name.

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