Keywords: online legal marketing, Malaysia, lawyers, legal services, syariah law, legal profession, internet, world wide web, USA, United States, Arizona, US Supreme Court, constraints, advertising, law firms, liability, scientific enquiry
Internet legal service marketing: are Malaysian lawyers getting left behind?
Although the subject of legal marketing as an evolution of legal service has been widely discussed in countries like the USA, especially after the US Supreme Court ruling in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona in 1977, it is far from clear whether internet legal service marketing in Malaysia is currently given a similar emphasis by local lawyers to indicate new techniques for the delivery of legal services in the challenging legal marketplace. This article evaluates the limitations faced by legal practitioners especially in the area of marketing their services in Malaysia. Problems like legal constraints (with due respect, it is pointed out that maintaining the traditional techniques for the delivery of legal services is a trend in Malaysia) are identified as among the factors that led to the weak interest in online legal marketing. Finally, the article contributes suggestions on possible and flexible approaches and features for legal practitioners in exploiting marketing tools and techniques for success in their practice. We propose that despite some legal constraints on lawyers' marketing intentions, Malaysian lawyers should comprehend the importance of online legal marketing for their survival and, thus, the legal constraints should not be strictly interpreted so as not to prevent online legal marketing.