What Your Email Signature Block Should Say About You

4626055298 bc7689346b11 What Your Email Signature Block Should Say About You

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A large portion of my interaction with opposing counsel and potential clients is through email. Sometimes, however the ease of email makes lawyers forget basic rules of email etiquette. If most of your correspondence is done via email, be sure you have a proper signature block.

Include the basics

Your signature block should include your name, firm name, address, phone number, fax number, and email address. Your name should be whatever you put on court documents—this is not the proper email address to list your college nickname. Your firm name and address are fairly self-explanatory.

For your phone number, if you are listing your direct number it is helpful to explicitly say that. Listing your email address in the signature block might seem redundant, but I have received emails from other attorneys that do not come from the address listed.

Anything else?

You are now in the realm of personal discretion. If you have a blog that you update frequently, and it is related to your practice of law, you might want to list it at the bottom of the signature block. Personally, I only think you should list it blogs that are active. Even then, I think it is a judgment call. If you list it, people will go there, and you want it to look good. If you have not posted anything in two months, that is not good.

You can list a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, but I do not recommend it. One, do you really want potential clients and opposing counsel checking out your Facebook page? Two, your signature block is probably fairly thick at this point, so you really only want to list relevant stuff.

Keep it simple

Your signature block is up to you. I am not a fan of bolding your name, putting your firm name in blue, or adding a logo. That is just my humble opinion. If you feel inclined to do that, try to keep it simple.

Legal Marketing, Practice Management

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  • http://www.mnconsumerattorney.com Anne M. Hansen

    I agree about keeping the signature block simple and straightforward. Things like logos, multiple colors, and inspirational quotes can look very jumbled, especially in combination with one or more boilerplate disclosures. I’d also add that your e-mail should never, ever contain moving parts. At least in the legal profession, there’s no reason to use logos or other images that flash, swirl, dance across the screen, etc. It’s distracting and unprofessional-looking, and can be problematic for recipients prone to seizures or migraines.

    Brevity can also be important, as sometimes it is necessary (or preferable) to print out e-mail threads. If your signature block takes up 1/3 of a page — or more — I think it’s time to revise the signature block. At the very least, use a full signature block with all disclosures in your first message, and then a shortened version for replies to that message thread.

  • http://ethicsmaven.com/ eric cooperstein

    One more thing to include is your website address and if you don’t have a website, at least link to a Linked-in profile. if people want to know more about you, they can either click the link you provide or they can google you. They only really want to spend about 30 seconds figuring out who you are, so make it easy for them and give them the information you want them to have.

  • bumperize

    I agree with most of what is said. However, a small logo of graphic in the email signature might go a long way toward branding yourself of your organization. When a person open the email message and sees the logo, they will know exactly your affiliation are and what you represent.

    – Email can be fun

  • D

    What would you suggest for a newly admitted attorney who is working on a contract basis?

  • http://www.hselaw.com Joanne Orzech

    Good article! Thank you.

    I am trying to find any supporting documentation or information whether the words “Partner” and “Associate” should be included in a correspondence signature block. I believe only those who are NOT attorneys should have their title appear under their name in a letter’s signature block. We have differing opinions at my firm.

    Any Information or guidance anyone can provide would be very helpful. Thanks so much