Q. I want to share office expenses and space with two other lawyers, but we won’t be partners. Can we call ourselves the “X, Y, and Z” law firm?
A. Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 7.5(d) provides that lawyers may only state or imply they practice in a partnership or other organization when that is the fact. Comment  to that Rule goes to say that “lawyers sharing office facilities, but who are not in fact associated with each other in a law firm, may not denominate themselves as, for example, “Smith and Jones,” for that title suggests that they are practicing law together in a firm. See also, ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion 03-02.
ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.
Disclaimer. These questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline. The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed. The information provided isn’t legal advice. Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.