Please read this Ethics Policy carefully before using the services offered by LawKick. This Ethics Policy sets forth the ethical considerations when using the LawKick platform. LawKick strives to ensure adherence to all relevant provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, both in letter and in spirit. We have never been the subject or object of any ethical or disciplinary inquiries, and will always do everything in our power to make sure we are complying with the rules of professional conduct. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of each attorney who uses LawKick to do so in compliance with the ethical requirements of his or her jurisdiction of practice.
MR 5.4(a) - Professional Independence
According to Rule 5.4(a) of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, "A lawyer shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer..." except in certain circumstances, none of which apply to LawKick. This is why LawKick will never share in legal fees. We are purely a platform that facilitates the discovery and communication between lawyers and potential clients. We charge a monthly subscription fee for the lawyer to have access to advertise his services on the platform, regardless of the number of clients acquired and independent of any fees charged to the client. Therefore, the fee charged is solely for the use of the platform and is unrelated to any fee charged. Because of this, LawKick is in compliance with Rule 5.4(a).
MR 5.5(a) - Unauthorized Practice of Law
According to Rule 5.5(a) of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, "A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so." This clause has generally been understood to include a prohibition against the practice of law by non-lawyers. LawKick is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, nor does it provide any legal advice. LawKick is solely a platform to facilitate communications between lawyers and prospective clients. As such, the activity carried on by LawKick is in compliance with Rule 5.5.
MR 7.2(a) - Advertising
According to Rule 7.2(a) of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, "a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media." However, Rule 7.2(b) places some restraint upon this freedom to advertise. Rule 7.2(b) provides that "A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services except that a lawyer may (1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule." Thus, the rule permits advertisement but does not permit paid recommendations.
LawKick does not endorse or recommend individual attorneys in any way, shape, or form. Certain attorneys on LawKick may be featured in more prominent positions than others. This alone, however, does not constitute an endorsement because those lawyers must pay an advertising fee in order to be featured. The featured position has nothing to do with a particular lawyer’s skills or qualifications. Additionally, the fee that LawKick charges attorneys is only for hte reasonable cost of advertisements and communications, in accordance with the rule. Therefore, LawKick is in compliance with Rule 7.2(b).
MR 7.2(b) - Lawyer Referral Services
According to Rule 7.2(b) of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, “A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services except that a lawyer may...pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service.” According to the Comment  to Rule 7.2(b), “lawyers are not permitted to pay others for recommending the lawyer’s services.” LawKick is not a referral service. Attorneys do not pay us to recommend their services. We simply facilitate the lawyer/client matchmaking process with a neutral communication & bidding platform that is open to anyone. Therefore, we are in compliance with Rule 7.2(b) as we are not, nor do we represent ourselves as, a lawyer referral service.
States have begun to recognize platforms such as ours and clearly distinguish us from referral services. See the California Bar website’s recommendations on the best way to find attorneys. LawKick falls under the category of client-attorney matching services, also known as a “bulletin board.”
MR 7.3(a) - Solicitation of Clients
According to Rule 7.3(a) of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, "A lawyer shall not by in‑person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain..." However, Comment  to Rule 7.3 states that solicitation is “a targeted communication initiated by the lawyer.” Because the client fills-out a questionnaire and explicitly authorizes attorneys to contact them on the platform before any communications are made by the attorneys, the LawKick service is not in violation of Rule 7.3(a).