Rule 7.5. Firm names and letterheads.

(a) A licensed paralegal practitioner shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.1 of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct. A trade name may be used by a licensed paralegal practitioner in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1 of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct.

(b) A law firm with licensed paralegal practitioners or a firm with licensed paralegal practitioners with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the licensed paralegal practitioners in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.

(c)  The name of a licensed paralegal practitioner holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the licensed paralegal practitioner is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm. 

(d) Licensed paralegal practitioners may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact.

 

Comment

[1] A firm may be designated by the names of all or some of its members, by the names of deceased members where there has been a continuing succession in the firm's identity or by a trade name such as the "ABC Legal Clinic." A licensed paralegal practitioner firm may also be designated by a distinctive website address or comparable professional designation. Although the United States Supreme Court has held that legislation may prohibit the use of trade names in professional practice, use of such names in practice is acceptable so long as it is not misleading. If a private firm uses a trade name that includes a geographical name such as "Springfield Legal Clinic," an express disclaimer that it is not a public legal aid agency may be required to avoid a misleading implication. It may be observed that any firm name including the name of a deceased partner is, strictly speaking, a trade name. The use of such names to designate firms has proven a useful means of identification. However, it is misleading to use the name of a licensed paralegal practitioner not associated with the firm or a predecessor of the firm, or the name of a non-lawyer.

[2] With regard to paragraph (d), licensed paralegal practitioners sharing office facilities, but who are not in fact associated with each other in a firm, may not denominate themselves as, for example, "Smith and Jones," for that title suggests that they are practicing together in a firm.

 

Effective November 1, 2018