What Is a Legal Correspondence

In all correspondence with judges, cover letters and envelopes should be addressed as follows: The Honourable John J. Jones, Judge, Appeals Division (or such other department as the judge represents), Supreme Court of the State of X, followed by the address. The greeting should read, „Dear Justice Jones.” Names you`re not sure about should always be checked for correct spelling. The text of your letter should begin two lines after your greeting. Typically, legal correspondence is done with single line spacing and double-spaced between paragraphs. The text of your letter should convey your message appropriately and concisely. In some correspondence, such as more casual letters to clients, it may be appropriate to include subtleties such as „I hope this letter is good for you.” In other cases, it might be more appropriate to imagine, „My name is Hank Jones. I am representing Barbara Crane in the above case. However, some correspondence, especially between law firms, can be quite simple and accurate, without adding fluff. Regardless of the tone, a sentence or paragraph should be used to set the tone and introduce the purpose of the letter.

Having forms and templates for joint correspondence is just as important as forms and templates for submissions. Of course, the types of forms you should keep depend on the type of law practiced in your firm. Here are some common forms and correspondence templates that should be useful to paralegals in many types of practices. Your municipal reference book will be the most used guide on your desk. This is a standard topic in all law firms. Inside, you`ll find names, addresses, phone numbers, and a wealth of other essential information for your daily work. If you are not familiar with this volume, you should take it home during the first week of work to familiarize yourself with it. When new issues appear, you receive them, so you don`t have to buy a copy.

You`ll often use it throughout the day to check the spelling of names, find fees, get employee addresses and phone numbers, find addresses for opposing lawyers, and find information for a variety of other tasks. If Black`s Law Dictionary is the lawyer`s professional bible, then this big red book could be considered the professional bible of the legal secretary. It is not uncommon for these books to be filled with post-it notes to highlight frequently used pages. Another method is to use colored tab separators to highlight the pages you want to access quickly. Keep it on your desk. 4. Ask the recipient to do something. In general, legal correspondence is written in the hope that the recipient will do something; Agree to resolve the case, comply with an investigation request, pay someone, or take action. The last paragraph of your letter should therefore ask the recipient to do what you want. For example, if you write to a counterparty asking them to send a settlement agreement for review by your lawyer, you may say something like, „Please send a settlement agreement to my office for review as soon as possible.” If your letter is a letter of complaint, give the recipient a clear payment deadline. For example, „Please forward the amount owing to my office within 10 approaches of the date of this letter.” 1. Be prepared to write your letter.

Before you start writing, think about your audience, what you need to say, and the tone of voice you should use. When you reply to a letter, phone call, or other message, you should have that message or letter in front of you. When you describe a client`s position or how a particular law applies to a situation, you have the client`s explanation or law in front of you. The letters are usually left-aligned in block style in law firms. Be sure to always check names and addresses before sending anything. Also, be sure to make a copy of the signed letter for the record, no matter how trivial it may seem. As with any outgoing correspondence, letters must be handled thoroughly. You may have the opportunity to sign smaller non-legal letters for your lawyer while they are in court or away for the day, but make sure this is a practice approved by your boss before you take the initiative. You may also be asked to write letters yourself if your lawyer is unable to do so. Due to the efficiency, speed and ease of use of transcription compared to other methods, it has become the norm in the legal field. Finally, always add a diploma with your signature.

Examples of closures are „Sincerely” and „Sincerely”. Most letters in the legal world are signed by yourself or a lawyer. It is important that you include your title under your signature so that the reader knows who they correspond with. This is ethically important because paralegals are not allowed to give legal advice or imply that they are lawyers. An example of a signature is below: typing all kinds of correspondence is a big part of the duties of a legal secretary. Be sure to check the spelling of all proper names and provide the correct address and postage. If you need to include an SASE (mentioned in the cover letter), don`t forget to add it to the package you are sending. Editing may be the most important skill you have when dealing with correspondence. Be sure to edit all documents with a keen eye to make them as perfect as possible. It cannot be stressed enough: lawyers are simply strict about this part of the documentation. If they detect an error, they will call you, if they see a lot of errors, it could cost you your job.

In all correspondence with clerks, cover letters and envelopes should be addressed as follows: clerk of the appeal division (or department they represent), followed by the address of the court. The greeting should read: „Dear Sir or Madam.” You may often need to include a stamped envelope (SASE) when sending bids to a court clerk. This gives the clerk a convenient way to return copies bearing the „deposited” stamp to you.