E-Mail Netiquette for Lawyers
6 Senior Lawyer 11, Fall 2014
7 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015
Date Written: 2014
This article offers practical advice on how lawyers can and should email.
Electronic mail, called “e-mail” and often spelled “email,” has electrified the practice of law. E-mail is invaluable. It’s “cheaper and faster than a letter, less intrusive than a phone call, [and] less hassle than a fax.” It eliminates location and time-zone obstacles. E-mail isn’t perfect. Attorneys are besieged by the volume of e-mails. It’s hard to sort through the mix of solicitations, SPAM, correspondence, and critical, timesensitive information. One result: “people are either annoyed by the intrusion [of e-mail] or are overwhelmed by the sheer number of e-mails they receive each day.” E-mail also leads to misunderstandings. Despite its problems, e-mail is an essential tool. Attorneys must make the most of it — so long as the attorney follows this good advice: “Think. Pause. Think again. Then send.” This column reviews e-mail etiquette, e-mail tips, and e-mail’s implications for the legal profession. Good protocol makes e-mail fit to print.
Keywords: email, SPAM, flaming, subject lines, emoticons, shouting, exclamation points, contractions, ethics, signatures, reply all
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