Authored By: Amanda Unterreiner
As a legal professional, email is likely your most important form of communication. It is important to present yourself well over email and to make sure your emails are easily understandable, professional, and to the point. These habits from Attorney at Work will help you further develop your email communication.
Forward with context: If you are forwarding an email, especially if it is long, take a minute to give context in your email and summarize the email or email chain you are forwarding. Make sure to provide context to the email, summarize the message of the previous email or emails, and list the next steps or requested action.
Reply to all emails promptly—but that doesn’t mean immediately: Replying to emails the same day they are received shows that the email is important to you, which is especially important for clients and potential clients, and does not leave them wondering if you missed the email entirely. If you do not have time or are not able to give an adequate response within a day, simply reply to the email and let them know that you will have a response by the end of the week, or whenever you believe you will be able to respond appropriately. While it is important to respond promptly, you do not need to respond immediately upon receiving the email.
If you have your email set up on your phone or if you have email notifications on your computer it can be tempting to check your email as soon as it comes in. When you are working on something or focused on a task, it is more beneficial to you and efficient to stay focused on the task at hand and wait to check your emails all at once a few times a day between projects.
New email thread: When you are starting a new conversation or discussing a new topic, start a new email thread. Continuing the same email thread for new topics can be confusing for the recipient and makes it harder to find emails from the older topics if you need to refer back.
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