Addressing an Attorney in a Letter
When addressing an attorney, you should start with “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” and use the surname of the recipient in parentheses. For a married attorney, you may also use “Mrs.” after her name, but only if you are addressing her as a married woman, since “Mrs.” presumes her marital status. For other attorneys, “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” is appropriate.
If you’re addressing an attorney in a business letter, you’ll want to use her full name. For example, John Justice prefers to be called “J.J.” and will appreciate being addressed by her first name in any correspondence. Though attorneys rarely use the honorific “Esq.” on their letterhead or business cards, they often use it for addressing their envelopes. In a business letter, however, “John Justice” is perfectly appropriate.
If your letter is addressing a lawyer in a court, you should address her by her first and last name. In addition, you should also include her law firm, company, or governmental agency. If you are sending the attorney a letter to discuss a legal issue, you should include a reference phone number and the date. Attorneys should be addressed as Esquire or Attorney at Law, while non-lawyers should stick to the etiquette for their profession.
In general, you should always address the attorney with a formal, business-like letter. First, make sure to write the recipient’s full name and title and a comma after it. You may need to include a comma after the attorney’s name. Once your recipient has received your letter, follow up with a full mailing address and a brief message. When addressing an attorney in business correspondence, you should also include the firm name, address, and contact number.