Is it legal for lawyers to pay for leads?

Legal Marketing Blog

If you’re having trouble growing your firm by bringing in new cases, then you may look to legal leads as a solution. The ethics of paying for leads is probably something that weighs heavily on your decision making. So, is it legal for lawyers to buy pay for leads? The answer is Yes!

The American Bar Association’s Rule 7.2: Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services, states a lawyer may pay others for generating client leads, such as Internet-based client leads, as long as the lead generator:

  • Does not recommend the lawyer
  • Accepts payment consistent with Rules 1.5 (e) and 5.4
  • Communications are consistent with Rule 7.1

Leads are simply inquiries from consumers looking to consult with an attorney. Walker Advertising generates leads through legal marketing efforts under its brands Los Defensores and 1-800-THE-LAW2.

Walker Advertising model

We specialize in joint legal advertising, which means we combine the media buying power of all our individual attorney members. No one attorney is recommended, and leads are distributed amongst our attorney clients by a state-of-the-art computer algorithm that ensures every attorney is treated equally.

We are not a referral service, and therefore do no endorse or recommend any one attorney in compliance with Rule 7.1

Payment for leads is upfront and not contingent upon retainment or settlement. In addition, Walker Advertising does not receive any portion of legal fees from leads delivered to a firm in compliance with Rules 7.2 and 5.4 of the California Rules of Professional Responsibility.

How we produce and deliver leads

Walker Advertising specializes in live-connecting quality exclusive leads to law firms. Aside from legal regulations regarding the purchase of leads, many attorneys question how third-party leads are generated and distributed.


As a company that produces solely legal advertising, we take ABA Compliance very seriously. Our decades of experience allow Walker Advertising to produce advertising materials that are timely, tasteful and ethical.

But don’t take our word for it. We have advertising available for your review at any time to assist you in ensuring that all advertising prepared for you complies with the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.

At the end of the day, it is every attorneys’ responsibility to ensure that all of their advertising complies with the applicable regulations, and here at Walker Advertising we use our thirty-five years of experience to lighten this load.

As just a few examples of the types of misleading assertions you will never find in a Walker Advertising advertisement, we will never:

  • Claim that lawyers in our network are the best, experts, or specialists as this type of unprovable comparison is misleading
  • Discuss or reference settlement dollars without further disclaimers that put these assertions into the proper context as required by the Rule 7.1
  • Make any promise to be assisting consumers in finding the best or “right” attorney, as we are here to serve our attorneys

There are many advertising services breaking these fundamental rules. We do not because we value your professional reputation as much as we value ours. We are proud to report that no attorney has ever been disciplined by any Bar Association for statement made in advertisements prepared by Walker Advertising. That’s a 35-year track record of ethical advertising.

Lead Routing

Once a lead reaches our contact center, it is evenly distributed by computerized rotations that guarantee fair and equal allocation. Our contact center agents do not use information collected during the call to determine which attorney the lead will go to.

The routing of a lead is done once and sent to only one attorney partner. In other words, our leads are exclusive.

Having to fight over or be the first to reach a lead is concern for lawyers, as many lead generation companies will send the same lead to multiple clients. With Walker Advertising you can be sure that any lead delivered to you, is being delivered to only you.

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