The Florida Bar
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OPINION 75-36
January 31, 1977
A lawyer may teach a course on general legal subjects to laymen at a local school so long as he does not emphasize his own professional experience and does not seek to give individual advice.

CPR: EC 2-2; DR 2-104(A)(4)
Opinions: 73-30; 75-16

Vice Chairman Lehan stated the opinion of the committee:

A lawyer inquires whether he may properly teach a course on general legal subjects to laymen at an adult education division of a local school. The course announcement distributed to the public does not identify the lawyer by name. The lawyer does not in his presentation to the class give reference to any specialized training which he has or to his availability for professional employment. He does not, and specifically announces that he will not, give advice on particular legal problems of class members.

The Committee answers the inquiry in the affirmative.

EC 2-2 encourages lawyers to participate in educational programs concerning our legal system, including specifically participation in seminars and lectures so long as the lawyers shun personal publicity. DR 2-104(A)(4) specifically authorizes a lawyer to "speak publicly ... on legal topics so long as he does not emphasize his own professional experience or reputation and does not undertake to give individual advice."

See Opinion 75-16 of this Committee, and the various authorities referred to therein, as to a lawyer contributing articles on general legal topics to a newspaper and being identified in connection therewith by name and profession. In Opinion 75-16 this Committee specifically recognized the right of a lawyer to speak publicly on general legal topics so long as he does not emphasize his own experience or reputation. See also Opinion 73-30 [since withdrawn].



[Revised: 08-24-2011]