The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 88-2

January 15, 1988
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
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.
Note: Lawyer advertising rules are now in Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 4-7.11
through 4-7.22.

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.