Writing Exercise: Law 17

Contents of a business letter

1. Letterhead

The letterhead usually contains the full name, address, telephone number, and facsimile number of the law firm (also email address, now). It is usually pre-printed on the firm's stationery and centered at the top of the page. An Example is

David Jordan
Attorney at Law

225 West Broadway, Suite 22
Glendale, CA. 91204

E-Mail: abogado @ pacbell.net                                       Fax: 818-845-8082
Pager: 818-546-7060                                           Telephone: 818-845-3238


Subsequent pages contain an identification of the letter, which is usually called a header. These pages do not contain the letterhead. The header includes the name of the addressee, the date, and the page number. It is placed at the top left or right margin of the page. An example of a header is as follows:

Jon Jones
May 5, 1997
Page Three

2. Date

The full date is usually placed below the letterhead at the left or right margin, or it also may be centered below the letterhead.The date should include the full date: the day, month, and year. Since most correspondence is filed chronologically, a date is essential for the chronological file. Note that many offices date stamp correspondence when it is received in the office and file it according to that date.

3. Method of Delivery

At the left margin, below the date, is the method of delivery. This is usually required only if the manner of delivery is other than the United States mail. Examples are as follows:

Via Federal Express
Via Hand Delivery
Via Facsimile

4. Recipient's Address Block

Below the date and method of delivery is the address block of the addressee. It is placed at the left margin. The address block should include: