Use a well-known, professional email provider like MS Outlook 365 or Gmail. Don’t use AOL; you’ll look like an idiot. Also, don’t ever try to run your own email server in-house. You’re a lawyer, not an IT guy.

Email Setup

You need to set up your email properly for two reasons: (1) so that recipients can see your full name, and (2) so that a proper signature block appears at the bottom of every message you send (both originals and replies).

As to your name, your email recipients need to see “Jane Doe” in their “From” line rather than “”

As to your signature block, you must include, at a minimum: (1) your name, (2) your mobile telephone number, and (3) your email address. Why? So when someone driving a car gets an email from you, he can simply touch the hyperlinked phone number and call you. Don’t make him write you back; he’ll hit a tree. Finally, don’t include any pictures or logos in your signature block; those JPEG files are annoying to the recipient. Here’s an example:

Dane S. Ciolino
(504) 975-3263

Email Correspondence

Keep emails short. No more than a paragraph or two (if you must). If it is going to be longer than that, do a memo or letter instead and send it as a PDF attachment.

Be very mindful about subject lines. Always use descriptive subject lines, including the name of the relevant client. Change the subject line when switching to a new topic; that avoids long email chains. Obsessing over the content of subject lines now will make it easier for you to find emails later (because only subject lines turn up in search results).