Legal Letter Format & Examples

Legal letters are written for many reasons. They can be used to facilitate negotiations or remedy a conflict between two people or groups in lieu of a lawsuit. Because of their nature, legal letters should be professional, precise, and concise. They should communicate a message effectively and leave no doubts in the mind of the recipient.

In essence, drafting an effective legal letter requires time and effort. It also demands enforceability. A well-written legal letter should not only provide terms, but it should also stress that the terms are legally binding. In this article, we explore legal letter formats and how to draft an appropriate legal letter.

Follow the following guidelines when drafting your legal letter.

  • Address the letter properly – Include the full name and address of the recipient. Address them by their name and an appropriate courtesy like Mr. Mrs. Or Ms. If you are sending the letter to a company or organization, you can use ‘Dear sir or madam.’
  • Provided the reason for the letter – State why you are sending the letter. Provide specifics for your case and include dates and names of any related parties.
  • Cite any enclosures – Include and cite any enclosures to your legal letter. Make sure to mention them in the introductory paragraph so the reader can look through them first.
  • State an action – What would you wish the reader to do? Are they to make a payment? Or show up in court? State your intended goals and give a time frame for them.
  • Cite any laws or regulations that apply to your legal letter. Make sure to explain how they have influenced your writing of the letter.
  • Proofread your letter – A letter with errors may not be as impactful. Correct any spelling or grammar mistakes, sign your letter, and send it.

What Should You Include in a Legal Letter?

Legal letters often span a single page. This may lead people to mistakenly believe that they are easy to draft. While indeed concise, a legal letter should not compromise on substance. It should communicate all the intended information clearly and precisely. Typically, a professional legal letter constitutes:

  • An agreement – The details of the agreement and enough proof to show that it occurred.
  • The terms of the agreement – What provisions were agreed upon? What are the involved parties obligated or demanded to do?
  • The period of enforcement – A timeframe for then the terms of the agreement should be met.
  • The consequences of failing to comply

Legal Letter Format

{Date}

{Recipient’s name}

{Address}

{City, Zip Code, State}

RE: Legal Letter for {Purpose of Letter}

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. {Last name}

I am writing this letter to {state purpose of the letter}. Pursuant to {specific law} that states {state the law}, I would like to request {state your request}. You will find attached a copy of the agreement. Feel free to consult with your legal counsel before signing it.

As stipulated in the agreement, you have {amount of time} from {date} to respond to this letter. Failure to do so or provide a good reason for the failure could lead to {appropriate repercussion}.

Please send a copy of the agreement once signed and contact me at {contact information} for any further questions.

Thank you for your compliance.

Sincerely,

{Your name}

{Job title}

{company/organization/institution}

Legal Letter Sample

3 July, 2020

Judge Hanford Taylor

Bayonne Family Law Court

Bayonne, NJ 35678 New Jersey

RE: Request to Attend Court Hearings

Honorable Taylor,

I am writing as a request that the court issue an order of allowance on case 35/7890. Pursuant to Penal Code §2625, I would like to attend the court hearings concerning my child, Annabel Colin, date of birth 6 May 2002. The nest hearing is scheduled for 4 August, 2020.

I have expressed concerns about my child’s safety in a previous letter dated 14 June,2020. I believe it is in her best interest that I return to my custody.

I would also like to request that the court appoint an attorney to represent me as I cannot afford one at the moment.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Christopher Colin

Legal Letter Examples and Templates

A legal letter carries serious consequences for all the involved parties. It should be easy to comprehend and should hold no errors or room for misinterpretation. A legal letter is often written with the aid of legal counsel. However, you can draft one even if you are not an attorney. You can use the following template and sample to guide you.

Legal Letter to Client

This is a letter written by an attorney to advise their client on a legal matter. It is often written in response to a question.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Legal letter to judge

A letter to a judge can be written by a victim or on behalf of a defendant. It is often written regarding an ongoing case to express how it has affected those involved.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Legal Letter Format for Outstanding Payment

If a client owes you an overdue debt, you can send a legal letter to demand payment. This letter usually holds serious consequences if ignored.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Legal Demand Letter

A legal demand letter is the best way to resolve a conflict in place of a lawsuit. It is a precursor to negotiations on an injustice you may have suffered.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Conclusion

In a nutshell, a legal letter states the actions that must be performed by individuals or groups and the consequences of noncompliance. It is a formal letter that carries an inherent sense of urgency. While legal counsels are better trained to draft these letters, with sufficient information, you can write an effective one. Declare your terms and make sure you use legal letter formats that are clear and concise.