Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 7.4

As amended through October 27, 2022
Rule 7.4 - Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization
(a) A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.
(b) The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law, nor does it recognize certifications of expertise in any phase of the practice of law by any agency, governmental or private, or by any group, organization or association. A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
(c) Except when identifying certificates, awards or recognitions issued to him or her by an agency or organization, a lawyer may not use the terms "certified,'' "specialist,'' "expert,'' or any other, similar terms to describe his qualifications as a lawyer or his qualifications in any subspecialty of the law. If such terms are used to identify any certificates, awards or recognitions issued by any agency, governmental or private, or by any group, organization or association, the reference must meet the following requirements:
(1) the reference must be truthful and verifiable and may not be misleading in violation of Rule 7.1;
(2) the reference must state that the Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and that the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 7.4

Adopted July 1, 2009, effective 1/1/2010.

Comment

[1] Paragraph (a) of this Rule permits a lawyer to indicate areas of practice in communications about the lawyer's services. If a lawyer practices only in certain fields, or will not accept matters except in a specified field or fields, the lawyer is permitted to so indicate.

[2] Paragraph (b) states the general policy of the Supreme Court of Illinois not to recognize certifications of specialties or expertise, except that it recognizes that admission to patent practice before the Patent and Trademark Office confers a long-established and well-recognized status. The omission of reference to lawyers engaged in trademark or admiralty practice that were contained in the prior rule is not intended to suggest that such lawyers may not use terms such as "Trademark Lawyer" or "Admiralty" to indicate areas of practice as permitted by paragraph (a).

[3] Paragraph (c) permits a lawyer to state that the lawyer is certified, is a specialist in a field of law, or is an "expert" or any other similar term, only if certain requirements are met.