RISK AND PRACTICE MANAGEMENT TIP: Pros and cons of communicating by email

Today’s lawyer prefers the ease of communicating by email. It’s fast, efficient, and allows for easier documentation. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages when communicating with clients and colleagues by email:


  • easily share pictures, images, sounds, video, documents, graphics, maps;
  • syncing your mobile device with your desktop means having access to email and documents wherever and whenever you need them;
  • no long distance charges when sending an email thousands of miles away;
  • you can have a speedy exchange with anyone, almost anywhere in the world; and
  • easily manage your business affairs across the globe.


  • the volume of transmitted data is becoming very high and becoming increasingly difficult to manage;
  • if you do not have a proper backup system, one hard-drive crash may result in losing valuable information;
  • because you cannot hear the sender’s tone or voice inflection, messages can be easily misinterpreted; and
  • when messages are being sent between different platforms or devices, emoticons are not always recognized, which can hamper effective communication.

While most lawyers prefer email communication, it is good practice to confirm with your client in the retainer agreement the method of communication and the time within which they may expect a response from you. For these and other practice tools, visit the LIANS website at: http://www.lians.ca/resources/risk-and-practice-management/practice-tools

If you have any questions on these or any other risk- or practice-related matters, do not hesitate to contact Stacey Gerrard, LIANS Counsel with the Risk and Practice Management Program, at sgerrard@lians.ca or call 902 423 1300 ext. 345.