The Florida Bar

(January 15, 1988)
An attorney may indicate his or her possession of a law degree on professional letterhead and business cards by use of the term "Juris Doctor." However, use of that term in advertisements can be misleading, and such use must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

RPC: 4-7.1, 4-7.2, 4-7.3, 4-7.4

The inquiring attorney has a Juris Doctor degree. He asks whether it is permissible for him to use the words "Juris Doctor" on letterhead, business cards "and other methods of communicating [his] practice."

An attorney may use letterhead, business cards and other methods to communicate information concerning his practice if such communications are not false or misleading. Rules 4-7.1, 4-7.2, 4-7.3, 4-7.4, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. It would certainly not be false for the inquiring attorney to indicate that he has a Juris Doctor degree. Nor would it be misleading to include such an indication on business cards or letterhead. Accordingly, use of the term "Juris Doctor" on letterhead and business cards is permissible.

With respect to advertising, however, it is conceivable that in some contexts use of the term "Juris Doctor" could be misleading. Therefore, unlike business cards and letterhead, the permissibility of advertisements containing the term "Juris Doctor" must be considered on an individual basis.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]