Advice Letters

Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 82, p. 335, 1994

2 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2008


An advice letter performs two functions: it analyzes a legal problem and recommends a course of action. The primary audience is the client, but there may also be an actual or potential secondary audience, such as in-house counsel, the client's business associates, or others. The letter should follow a format appropriate to its length and complexity. Begin by identifying the matter and restating the client's question, then identify the specific legal issues addressed in the letter and summarize the conclusions and recommendations that will be presented in greater detail later in the letter. The letter should also include a statement of facts and assumptions. The heart of the letter is the analysis section, which may also include background information and references to applicable legal authority. Finally, the last part of the letter should set forth the lawyer's conclusions and recommendations.

Keywords: legal writing, advice letters

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Sorkin, David E., Advice Letters. Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 82, p. 335, 1994, Available at SSRN:

David E. Sorkin (Contact Author)

The John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
312-987-2387 (Phone)


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