Helpful hints for email communication with your lawyer

It’s no secret that the world of lawyers and the legal process is unfamiliar and intimidating for most people!

We hope this article assists you in removing some of the ambiguity when communicating with your lawyer via email.

Lawyers rely on your communications to assist and progress your matter. In the legal sphere, we refer to these communications from you, the client, as ‘instructions.’

Your instructions are key to assisting your lawyer to understand who you are, where you come from, and the circumstances and events that have led you to seek legal advice. They are also crucial in providing us the direction you want to take your matter, the results you are seeking and the advice we provide you.

To assist your lawyer in receiving your instructions, you may want to consider some of the following points so you can get the most out of emailing your lawyer in a time and commensurately cost-effective manner.

  • Providing advice via email

If your lawyer sends you an email, read all of it. Usually, lawyers don’t write emails for fun! They write them with purpose and intention.

It saves us time and you save money if the lawyer and/or you only have to communicate a point once.

  • Providing documents for your review and instructions in relation to those documents:

Lawyers require your specific instructions to action things on your behalf, like preparing the content of court documents, or drafting correspondence to the opposing party.

For example, if your lawyer sends you a draft letter to the opposing party, they are likely doing the following:

  • Confirming the content matches your instructions about factual matters as you intended them.
  • That the tone and approach is in line with your wishes.
  • That you are happy for them to send that letter to the other party on your behalf without any changes.

Client response example

Your responding communications should address each question raised by your lawyer with clear statements such as:

  1. This letter accurately represents my understanding and view of the facts. The content is correct.
  2. This letter takes the tone I wish to convey.
  3. I am happy for you to send this letter to the opposing party without any changes.

  • Co-ordinating appointments and scheduling meetings:

Spending less time organising meetings saves more time for the actual meeting. Being clear about your availability is important. When scheduling a conference, rather than saying when you are not available, we recommend that you provide multiple times and dates that you are available. This will also assist us in finding a time that is mutually convenient at the earliest possible time. If you are not going to be able to reply to your lawyer for a lengthy period, make that known as soon as possible.

The lawyers here at Parker Coles Curtis pride themselves on their effective and clear communication, especially when assisting our clients.

If you require legal assistance, come chat to us at Parker Coles Curtis! Parker Coles Curtis is a boutique family law firm in central Canberra run by specialist family lawyers.

Written by Cameron Rybinski, Parker Coles Curtis