(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a signiﬁcant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:
(1) is a lawyer; or
(2) has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.
(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written, recorded, or electronic communication, or by in-person, telephone, or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:
(1) the target of the solicitation has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or
(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress, or harassment.
(c) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client believed to be in need of legal services which arise out of the personal injury or death of any person by written, recorded, or electronic communication. This Rule 7.3(c) shall not apply if the lawyer has a family or prior professional relationship with the prospective client or if the communication is issued more than 30 days after the occurrence of the event for which the legal representation is being solicited. Any such communication must comply with the following:
(1) no such communication may be made if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person to whom the communication is directed is represented resented by a lawyer in the matter; and
(2) if a lawyer other than the lawyer whose name or signature is contained in the communication will actually handle the case or matter, or if the case or matter will be referred to another lawyer or law ﬁrm, any such communication shall include a statement so advising the prospective client.
(d) Every written, recorded, or electronic communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment from anyone known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall:
(1) include the words “Advertising Material” on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person speciﬁed in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2);
(2) not reveal on the envelope or on the outside of a self-mailing brochure or pamphlet the nature of the prospective client’s legal problem.
A copy of or recording of each such communication and a sample of the envelopes, if any, in which the communications are enclosed shall be kept for a period of four years from the date of dissemination of the communication.
(e) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
Source: Entire rule and comment amended and adopted and committee comment deleted by amendment June 12, 1997, effective January 1, 1998; entire Appendix repealed and readopted April 12, 2007, effective January 1, 2008; (b) and (d) amended, Comment  added and Comments  through  amended, effective April 6, 2016.
 A solicitation is a targeted communication initiated by the lawyer that is directed to a specific person and that offers to provide, or can reasonably be understood as offering to provide, legal services. In contrast, a lawyer’s communication typically does not constitute a solicitation if it is directed to the general public, such as through a billboard, an Internet banner advertisement, a website or a television commercial, or if it is in response to a request for information or is automatically generated in response to Internet searches.
 There is a potential for abuse when a solicitation involves direct in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact by a lawyer with a someone known to need legal services. These forms of contact subject a person to the private importuning of the trained advocate in a direct interpersonal encounter. The person, who may already feel overwhelmed by the circumstances giving rise to the need for legal services, may ﬁnd it difﬁcult fully to evaluate all available alternatives with reasoned judgment and appropriate self-interest in the face of the lawyer’s presence and insistence upon being retained immediately. The situation is fraught with the possibility of undue inﬂuence, intimidation, and over-reaching.
 This potential for abuse inherent in direct in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic solicitation justiﬁes its prohibition, particularly since lawyers have alternative means of conveying necessary information to those who may be in need of legal services. In particular, communications can be mailed or transmitted by e-mail or other electronic means that do not involve real-time contact and do not violate other laws governing solicitations. These forms of communications and solicitations make it possible for the public to be informed about the need for legal services, and about the qualiﬁcations of available lawyers and law ﬁrms, without subjecting the public to direct in-person, telephone, or real-time electronic persuasion that may overwhelm a person’s judgment.
 The use of general advertising and written, recorded or electronic communications to transmit information from lawyer to the public, rather than direct in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact, will help to assure that the information ﬂows cleanly as well as freely. The contents of advertisements and communications permitted under Rule 7.2 can be permanently recorded so that they cannot be disputed and may be shared with others who know the lawyer. This potential for informal review is itself likely to help guard against statements and claims that might constitute false and misleading communications, in violation of Rule 7.1. The contents of direct in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact can be disputed and may not be subject to third-party scrutiny. Consequently, they are much more likely to approach (and occasionally cross) the dividing line between accurate representations and those that are false and misleading.
 There is far less likelihood that a lawyer would engage in abusive practices against a former client or a person with whom the lawyer has close personal or family relationship, or in situations in which the lawyer is motivated by considerations other than the lawyer’s pecuniary gain. Nor is there a serious potential for abuse when the person contacted is a lawyer. Consequently, the general prohibition in Rule 7.3(a) and the requirements of Rule 7.3(c) are not applicable in those situations. Also, paragraph (a) is not intended to prohibit a lawyer from participating in constitutionally protected activities of public or charitable legal-service organizations or bona ﬁde political, social, civic, fraternal, employee, or trade organizations whose purposes include providing or recommending legal services to its members or beneﬁciaries.
 But even permitted forms of solicitation can be abused. Thus, any solicitation which contains information which is false or misleading within the meaning of Rule 7.1, which involves coercion, duress, or harassment within the meaning of Rule 7.3(b)(2), or which involves contact with a someone who has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer within the meaning of Rule 7.3(b)(1) is prohibited. Moreover, if after sending a letter or other communication to a client as permitted by Rule 7.2 the lawyer receives no response, any further effort to communicate with the recipient of the communication may violate the provisions of Rule 7.3(b).
 This Rule is not intended to prohibit a lawyer from contacting representatives of organizations or groups that may be interested in establishing a group or prepaid legal plan for their members, insureds, beneﬁciaries, or other third parties for the purpose of informing such entities of the availability of and details concerning the plan or arrangement which the lawyer or lawyer’s ﬁrm is willing to offer. This form of communication is not directed to people who are seeking legal services for themselves. Rather, it is usually addressed to an individual acting in a ﬁduciary capacity seeking a supplier of legal services for others who may, if they choose, become prospective clients of the lawyer. Under these circumstances, the activity which the lawyer undertakes in communicating with such representatives and the type of information transmitted to the individual are functionally similar to and serve the same purpose as advertising permitted under Rule 7.2.
 The requirement in Rule 7.3(d)(1) that certain communications be marked “Advertising Material” does not apply to communications sent in response to requests of potential clients or their spokespersons or sponsors. General announcements by lawyers, including changes in personnel or ofﬁce location, do not constitute communications soliciting professional employment from a client known to be in need of legal services within the meaning of this Rule.
 Paragraph (e) of this Rule permits a lawyer to participate with an organization which uses personal contact to solicit members for its group or prepaid legal service plan, provided that the personal contact is not undertaken by any lawyer who would be a provider of legal services through the plan. The organization must not be owned by or directed (whether as manager or otherwise) by any lawyer or law ﬁrm that participates in the plan. For example, paragraph (e) would not permit a lawyer to create an organization controlled directly or indirectly by the lawyer and use the organization for the in-person or telephone solicitation of legal employment of the lawyer through memberships in the plan or otherwise. The communication permitted by these organizations also must not be directed to a person known to need legal services in a particular matter, but is to be designed to inform potential plan members generally of another means of affordable legal services. Lawyers who participate in a legal service plan must reasonably assure that the plan sponsors are in compliance with Rules 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3(b). See Rule 8.4(a).