E-Mail Netiquette for Lawyers

6 Senior Lawyer 11, Fall 2014

7 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015

See all articles by Gerald Lebovits

Gerald Lebovits

Columbia University - Law School; Fordham University School of Law; New York University School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

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

Suggested Citation

Lebovits, Gerald, E-Mail Netiquette for Lawyers (2014). 6 Senior Lawyer 11, Fall 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2546517

Gerald Lebovits (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

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United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.columbia.edu/faculty/gerald-lebovits

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

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New York, NY 10023
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.fordham.edu/adjunct/23484.htm

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.nyu.edu/graduateaffairs/graduatelawyering/facultybios

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