An attorney, contemplating the possibility of concentrating his practice in those areas of the law in which he feels particularly competent and feeling that he must rely to a large extent upon referrals from other lawyers, submits a form of letter to be written individually to attorneys whom he has met personally, and also a form of printed announcement to accompany that letter, and asks whether these are professionally proper. The languages to be inserted in the announcement are French, German, Italian and Spanish.


(Draft of letter to be sent to attorneys known to sender)


(Name of Sender)

Counselor at Law

(Address and telephone

number of sender)




(Name and address of recipient)

Dear (Name)


You will remember my name in connection with (an allusion to the manner in which the sender’s name has become known to the recipient – this will vary with each recipient).


I have recently decided to render a specialized service to other attorneys, and I am taking this opportunity of sending you an appropriate announcement.


I hope that we will have an opportunity for mutually satisfactory cooperation.


Very truly yours,


(Personal signature of sender)

(Name of sender)


(Draft of announcement to be enclosed with letter)


(Name of sender)


Counselor at law

(Address and telephone number of sender)


Announces to the Profession that he is Available for Referrals in Matters Involving:


International Law

Immigration and Naturalization

Matters involving a knowledge of the (names of foreign languages within the knowledge of sender) languages




Except for the reference to knowledge of foreign languages which should be omitted since such knowledge is not a branch of the law, the proposed announcement is proper because it complies with Canon 46 and the subjects of international law and immigration and naturalization are deemed to be specialized legal services as envisaged by that Canon.


The propriety of sending the proposed accompanying letter to attorneys depends upon (1) whether it is worded in a dignified manner and (2) whether there exists between the sender and recipient an adequate personal relationship. In our opinion such relationship would exist only if each knew the other personally. On its face, the proposed letter would not appear to be proper in that it imports the absence of such mutual personal relationship.


Dated: January 3, 1961.