In Defense of Lawyers Who Write Letters

Is there anything more “old-fashioned” than writing a letter?  I remember posting a Tweet a few years back in which I stressed the importance of documenting your file with a letter to the client if the client chooses to act against your advice.  I was chided by a few followers who asked what a “letter” was.  (In my defense, letters are easily attached to e-mail messages!)

After the virtual laughter died down, I didn’t give the letter vs. e-mail “controversy” any more thought.  Recently, I spoke to a lawyer who told me he purposely prepares letters for all client communication unless the question is very brief – a quick confirmation or yes/no answer.  His reasoning?  E-mail can lend itself to quick, knee-jerk responses that are often regretted after the fact.  This lawyer felt that by taking the time to compose a letter he treated matters more thoughtfully and professionally.  He often sends letters by e-mail, as a PDF attachment, but felt strongly that the process of composing a letter forced him – in a good way – to treat his client communication more formally.  An excellent point, I thought.  And clearly it worked best for him.

There is another reason why you might want to consider writing and mailing a letter via the US Postal Service.

In 2010, the Radicati Group estimated that 294 billion e-mails are sent per day.  If you’re like me, I suspect you have days when you wish e-mail would just go away.  Perhaps there is still a place for a good, old-fashioned letter:


Copyright 2013 Beverly Michaelis

2 thoughts on “In Defense of Lawyers Who Write Letters

  1. Pingback: The Art of Effective Communication | Oregon Law Practice Management

  2. Pingback: A Look at the Year Past – Tips You May Have Missed | Oregon Law Practice Management

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