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Advertising in the Legal Profession Sure it s legal but is it kosher by Bart Durh a m It is not surprising that strict rules were set out to maintain the dignity of the p rofession Foremost among them was the p rohibition against the solicitation of business by lawyers 16 discussion of legal advertising has to begin with events long before the U S Supreme Court held it permissible in the landmark case of Bates v State Bar of Arizona 1977 433 U S 350 Our law is derived from the common law of England In early England the population was illiterate and only a few privileged people could read or write The king s secretary was called a chancellor Later when the king established courts he referred disputes to his secretary We still call some of our judges in Tennessee chancellor although this name has fallen out of use in other parts of the country Eventually through the centuries a lawyer class of educated citizens evolved They were people who could read and write and were specialized in bringing disputes to the chancellors and speaking on behalf of the untutored litigants Illiteracy was high in past centuries and these people were needed to assist the courts Today there is the concept of functional illiteracy and the National Institute for Literacy estimates that 22 per cent of the population falls into that category What does it mean to be functionally illiterate Citizens who are functionally illiterate are often unable to complete an employment application They are unable to read an in depth newspaper article or gain valuable information from reading a history science or sociology book They are unable to enjoy an entertaining and unforgettable novel unless they listen to the book on tape State of Literacy in America Estimates at the Local State and National Levels by Stephen Reder lists Nashville as 20 percent level one illiterate and Murfreesboro as 16 percent level one illiterate 1 Where do these people who operate at level one illiteracy get their information It

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