Q: Is it ethical for attorneys to advertise in Iowa?
A: Yes. We do, however, have to be very careful how we advertise here, because, first, our Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct are strict, and, second, they are enforced.
New advertising rules go into effect January 1, 2013 (http://www.iowacourts.gov/wfdata/frame13896-1671/File155.pdf). Many Iowa attorneys have attended continuing legal education classes regarding them.
Keep in mind that the rules of ethics, and how they are interpreted, vary from State to State, and what you are seeing on cable or satellite TV, or seeing or hearing on TV or radio when you travel, may come from attorneys who are licensed in other States with more liberal rules or interpretation, such as the Iowa State Bar Association's Ethics Committee Webinar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSMH01yonkQ&feature=youtu.be) on YouTube.
Given that an attorney can be disciplined, up to and including permanent loss of a license to practice a profession, that cost a great deal of time and money to get into, and, which, for most, has become our life's work, few are willing to take the risk of advertising without making every effort to follow the rules of their particular State.
To see the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct, and specifically those regarding Information About Legal Services (http://www.legis.state.ia.us/DOCS/ACO/CR/LINC/09-23-2010.chapter.32.pdf) click on this link.
If you have questions regarding Iowa Professional Regulation (http://www.iowacourts.gov/Professional_Regulation/), or the status of a particular attorney licensed in Iowa (https://www.iacourtcommissions.org/icc/SearchLawyer.do), or wish to make a complaint (http://www.iowacourts.gov/Professional_Regulation/Attorney_Discipline/), you may click on these links.