• Opinion 08-01
    Summary: A lawyer may not participate in a private business networking organization that requires members to cross-refer potential clients to one another. Under Rule 7.3(f), a lawyer may not “give anything of value to any person or organization to solicit professional employment for the lawyer from a prospective client,” provided that he or she may “request[] referrals from a lawyer referral service operated, sponsored, or approved by a bar association” or “cooperat[e] with any qualified legal assistance organization.” A for-profit business networking organization, however, is not an authorized “lawyer referral service” or a “qualified legal assistance organization” for purposes of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct, and a lawyer’s commitment to provide business referrals to other organization members in return for their agreement to refer potential clients to him or her represents the “giv[ing] … of value” to those other members in contravention of Rule 7.3(f).
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