A letter to an attorney can be the first step to getting the help that is needed. There are several reasons to ask a lawyer for help. A letter can ask for initial help with a variety of issues.
Help may be needed to know what is happening with a pending case such as a child custody case or a car accident. Understanding the reason for contacting the attorney will help with writing a letter that is clear, concise, and straight to the point.
There are two formats for writing the letter. Since it is a business letter use either a full block format or a modified block format.
The full block format is when all parts of the letter including the address begin on the left side of the page. Modified block format is when some parts begin on the right and some begin on the left.
Begin by writing the address of the sender at the top of the page. An e-mail address and a phone number can be added if so desired. Below this information put the date.
Regardless of the format being used the date should go on the left side of the page. It will be written out rather than using numbers; for example, April 29, 2019 rather than 04/29/10.
Skip two spaces and put the attorney’s name and his or her address. This should also be on the left side of the page regardless of the format being used along with a case number if applicable.
The case number is below the attorney’s name and this is the subject line. It should be highlighted. If there is no case number or it is not known put the client’s name here. Skip two spaces and add the greeting.
The Body of the Letter
The body of the letter is the main reason for writing to the lawyer. If there are questions being asked, explain why they are being asked. If important information is being referenced make certain names, places, dates, and any other pertinent facts are included. This will ensure that the attorney knows exactly what is needed from him.
Use more than one paragraph if there are several issues being addressed. One paragraph per topic is the easiest to read and will help the attorney when he responds to the issues. The last paragraph should be two or three sentences explaining why the letter was written in the first place and thanking the lawyer for his time.
Close the letter using a suitable phrase such as “Sincerely,” This goes on the left when using full block format or the right when using modified block format.
Skip two spaces and type the name of the sender. This leaves space for signing the name between the closing phrase and the typed name.
Tips for Creating the Best Letter
The reason for writing the letter is to let the lawyer know exactly what is needed. Simple language is the best. There is no need to try and impress him with big words. Using outdated phrases such as “in regards to” or “advise me” would be better simply put as “regarding” or “let me know”.
Keep the letter short and to the point. Do not add information that is not necessary to whatever is being requested. This can be confusing and cause the attorney to misunderstand the request.
Read and edit the letter when it is finished so that any unnecessary sentences can be removed and make certain that the main purpose of the letter is clearly stated.
Sample Letter to attorney requesting help:
(Name of Sender) example: Terry Jones
(Address of Sender) 123 Avenue A
Newark, NJ 20009
(e-mail address) if desired, not required
(phone number) if desired, not required
(date) April 29, 2019
(Case Number or Client’s Name)
Dear (name of attorney),
(Subject) I have attempted to reach you by phone on (dates of phone calls) to find out about (the standing of my case). It has been (how long?) since we have communicated. I understood that you would contact me by (date) and that was (length of time) and I have not heard from you.
(Why the information is needed) This is important because (why it is important?). I would appreciate you contacting me at (address, phone number, email address) regarding my case.
(Thank you for your assistance in this matter.)
(signed name here)
(Typed Name of sender)