Why lawyers should care about their email signatures

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Lawyers and law firms must be aware of every opportunity to advertise their services in order to remain competitive. Therefore, one such opportunity is the often overlooked and frequently neglected lawyer email signature.

Lawyers may be inclined to consider an email signature a mere formality of written communication. However, when implemented properly, it is also a means of conveying a lawyer’s areas of practice, brand, and attitude.

It can even provide a mechanism for potential clients to respond to an invitation to connect—and retain.

Attorney email signatures as advertisements

Attorneys are inundated on a daily basis with marketing and advertising solicitations.

From Google Ads pitches to networking invitations to referral service subscription offers, a lawyer can easily lose productivity and time entertaining them all.

A particularly high number of attorney marketing solicitations are attempted through the classic telephone “cold call.” As many as a dozen such calls can be fielded by a busy law firm in a single day.

This is perhaps one reason why a majority of attorneys prefer to communicate via email. An email can be drafted and sent at the lawyer’s convenience and can be read when a lawyer is not in the middle of nine other tasks.

Best of all, an email can be drafted with the particular language that is a lawyer’s stock-in-trade, communicating exactly what is intended and nothing more. It is a record of a conversation as well, easily filed away for reference or production or even as an exhibit to a pleading as needed.

Given all of that, it is easy to understand why a lawyer might fail to recognize that the most important part of an email to the development of a legal practice is that short bit at the end—the email signature.

Advertising for lawyers and law firms

Other forms of advertising are expensive. In some jurisdictions, attorney advertising is policed by licensing or governing authorities (In Brazil, for example, the Federal Council of the Brazilian Law Association has prohibited attorney advertising in Google Ads or on television or radio).

Lawyers send emails. They send them at no additional cost to the daily function of their businesses. A lawyer’s email signature can—and should be—a key to client engagement.

But how?

Creating a professional attorney email signature

A professional lawyer’s email signature does not mean that it must be a generic and bland email signature. Naturally, any email signature must identify the lawyer sending it. Thus, never fail to include your:

  • Name;
  • Title or Position;
  • Firm Name;
  • Bar or License Number (where required);
  • Phone or WhatsApp;
  • Email Address;
  • Website;

These elements are likely obvious.

The typical lawyer’s email signature will be executed in plain Arial or Times New Roman (or Microsoft Outlook’s new default Calibri) font, sometimes italicized, sometimes bolded. Often, the Firm Name will be accompanied with an embedded or linked image of the Firm’s logo.

And that’s about it.

An email signature can include other elements than those noted above, however.

Social networks

Does your firm maintain a social media presence?

A lawyer’s email signature can include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Avvo, TikTok, and other social media icons that allow recipients of the email to instantly engage with you online.

Does your firm utilize Calendly or any other online scheduling or booking app or service? The email signature can include a call to action such as “Schedule a Consultation Now!” with an executable link to your automatic booking process.

Colors, graphics, and other eye-catching features can and should be utilized as well, although always with an eye toward consistency of branding.

A final example of an email signature for a lawyer or law firm.

You can see in this example that the email signature uses the company colors. In addition, it has a block for all office addresses in different regions, as well as a highlight for the lawyer’s position – Legal assistant. The email signature ends with a disclaimer block.

Cloud-Based email signature software can help

If you don’t know or don’t want to know how to do all of this yourself, there is no need to worry. Several cloud-based email signature software products have been developed for exactly this purpose.

For example, the Bybrand provides a simple means of creating and managing the standard disclaimer that nearly always appears at the bottom of any attorney’s email signature.

An email disclaimer is not a major management or compliance issue for a solo practicing attorney, but it is certainly something requiring firm-wide review, approval, and universal implementation when the organization grows.

An effective cloud-based software product can be the right solution for a growing law firm.

Likewise, the signature itself requires the same level of universal standardization among employees, lawyers, or otherwise, for both branding and ethical obligation rules compliance.

Uniform comunication

The cloud-based email signature is another example of an easily implemented means of ensuring that every member of the firm is communicating with external customers properly.

The right software provider can even provide HTML email templates for use with any email platform, ensuring consistency of brand and message, as well as an opportunity to engage.

Bybrand software products, in particular, integrate seamlessly with whatever platform your firm already uses to manage its employee base.

Whether your organization relies on Asana, Zoho CRM, Google Sheets, or another, Bybrand will help you save time and money managing employees’ email signatures.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that a lawyer’s email signature either says very much about the lawyer and his or her firm—or it can do more. With the right crafting, an HTML email signature will not simply close out a communication.

When executed properly and when integrated with the right software products, an email signature can be an open channel through which business can flow.

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