Is It proper for a law firm to list the names of its partners and associate lawyers on its letterhead without indicating, by a separating line or otherwise. Which are partners and which are associates?
It has been a long established practice in New York City for law firm letterheads to distinguish between partners and associates thereof by a separating line, enlarged spacing between the classes or otherwise. On the letterheads of many law firms only the names of partners are listed.
In light of such strong precedent it would appear misleading to all who receive such non-differentiating letterheads to depart from the usual form of separation between partner and associate. Absent some clear form of differentiation between partners and associates, the letterhead would constitute in the mind of a recipient a representation that all the listed names were those of partners. The public is entitled to know the status of those listed on the letterhead.
Accordingly, it would be improper to intermingle the names of partners and associates on the letterhead of a law firm.
February 27, 1973