# 1993-11

### Use of the terms “Associates”, “Law Firm”, and “Law Offices” in law firm name

QUESTION:
“Assuming that an attorney is a sole practitioner, which of the following forms of name may he ethically use for his practice:

John Doe & Associates
John Doe Law Firm
John Doe Law Office

Similarly, if the attorney has one associate (employed lawyer), which of those names may he use?

The first of these names (John Doe & Associates) was approved for a firm with an undisclosed number of associates in RO-87-01. It is unclear from that opinion and Rule 7.1(a) whether the use of the term ‘associates’ means that the lawyer must have at least one associate, or at least two associates in order not to be ‘misleading.’

Similarly, many solo practitioners use the ‘John Doe Law Office’ or ‘Law Offices of John Doe’ appellation. Does the term ‘John Doe Law Firm’ carry enough of a different connotation that ‘Firm’ would be misleading for a solo practitioner, while ‘Office’ would be allowable?”