It’s a myth that the NYS Rules of Professional Conduct curtail ethical business development activities. They actually encourage truthful, transparent, knowledge-focused marketing initiatives. As the Preamble to the Rules states:
A lawyer should further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because, in a constitutional democracy, legal institutions depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority.
Lawyers are tasked with the responsibility to educate the public to recognize legal problems, and select lawyers intelligently. Advertising can be used to educate and attract business. [Rule 7.1, Comments 2,3]
Networking is the primary marketing technique lawyers use to build personal relationships that help them achieve their economic, social and emotional goals. Networking provides an opportunity for potential clients to see, talk to and get a sense of a lawyer before they engage the person to handle personal or business issues of major importance.