Sample Lawyer Engagement Letter

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A lawyer letter engagement is an officially recognized document that defines the conditions and terms of a business project between two partners. When onboarding a new client, businesses face a slew of questions, including the scope of the project, deadline, payment schedules, and services provided.

To answer these questions and to navigate potential legal challenges, businesses often work with a lawyer to create an official engagement letter. A lawyer engagement letter is a legally binding document that clearly defines expectations, the scope of work, and the costs.

Having a lawyer engagement letter is crucial for defining project terms, mitigating risks, and protecting the business and client from legal headaches. While engagement letters are less formal than a contract, they still serve as valid evidence for insurance or court cases if problems arise between the two parties.

Understanding the Purpose of a Lawyer Letter of Engagement

When you agree to the terms of a deal with another party, a vocal agreement or handshake will often not hold up in a court of law. Therefore, to ensure both parties have agreed to clear terms for a deal, businesses will create a letter of engagement or a contract.

The purpose of a lawyer's letter of engagement is to formalize an agreement between a business and a client. The client can be an individual or another business. Not only will an engagement letter specify what services the business will provide, but it will also state what the client is responsible for.

Lawyer engagement letters are beneficial to both the client and the business. For the business, it defines a clear objective and limits scope creep, preventing the business from overcommitting resources to a single project. When it comes to the benefits for the client, those that sign a lawyer's letter of engagement have peace of mind knowing the business has agreed to deliver the work according to your budget and service requirements.

Letters of engagement can be formatted for use in numerous professional services, such as consulting, marketing, legal, and accounting. It is strongly advised to work with a lawyer or legal software when creating an engagement letter, as the content, terms, and responsibilities greatly vary by industry.

What to Include in a Lawyer Letter of Engagement

As we mentioned earlier, a lawyer engagement letter can formalize agreements between two parties in various fields. While each engagement letter may contain different wording and information, some key elements should be present in any letter of engagement, including:

  • Legal Identification of Signees
  • Start and End Dates
  • The Responsibilities of Each Party
  • Detailed Information Outlining the Scope Of Work
  • Billing Schedule
  • Payment Amount and Attorney Retainer Fee
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Termination of Contract
  • Specific Conditions

To create an effective engagement letter, most of these elements must be clearly defined and agreed upon with the client.

Crafting a Comprehensive Lawyer Letter of Engagement

Now that we know some of the most crucial elements to include in a lawyer letter of engagement, we can start to discuss how to craft a comprehensive engagement letter. For many businesses, it can be helpful to start their process by looking at templates online, such as those from Bonsai.

While we do not suggest that you use the exact template letter, these resources are helpful for getting the process started. If you want some further information regarding lawyer letter of engagement formatting, here is the general structure to follow:

  1. Section One - Personal Information: The first section of a lawyer’s letter of engagement should outline the personal information for each party (names, emails, location)
  2. Section Two - Scope of Work: The second section of an engagement letter will outline the specifics of the services required. Businesses should add specific detail to this section to avoid scope creep and unwanted liability.
  3. Section Three - Payment: When creating an engagement letter, you will also need to outline the payment structure. This includes the total cost, hourly cost, retainer, and any other expected fees.
  4. Section Four - Specific Conditions: In this area, you want to outline elements related to termination, special requirements, data security, and confidentiality.
  5. Section Five - Signature Fields: Last but certainly not least is the signature field. At the end of the engagement letter, both parties must sign the document for it to be legally binding.

Below is an example of the formatting of a sample engagement letter.

These are the most simplistic elements of a lawyer’s letter of engagement, and depending on the scope of the project, an engagement letter will typically get much more complex and detailed than this.

Unfortunately, most businesses do not have the knowledge needed to create an engagement letter or adapt online templates to meet the requirements of their specific agreement.

That is why it is crucial to work with a lawyer when formulating a letter of engagement, or rely on pre-built legally vetted solutions. A lawyer will ensure the engagement letter accurately outlines the duties of each party. With the help of a lawyer's letter of engagement, the terms of the project are clearly defined and official.

Key Considerations for a Successful Lawyer-Client Relationship

One of the areas where engagement letters are most common is the legal field. Lawyer engagement letters are crucial for law firms and are the backbone of most lawyer-client relationships. With that said, there is more to fostering a healthy relationship between a lawyer and a client than simply signing a letter of engagement.

When working with a lawyer, there are a few considerations you should be mindful of to ensure you are developing a mutually beneficial relationship, including:

Effective Communication

The backbone of any healthy relationship, be it work or personal, is effective communication. Whether you are part of the legal team or you are the client, it is crucial to communicate any current questions or progress updates. The longer each party goes without hearing from the other, the more tension and anxiety build up.

Consistent Transparency

A good attorney-client relationship also requires ongoing transparency. Both clients and lawyers must be forthright with each other about their circumstances and any potential roadblocks to success. Throughout the relationship, each party must cooperate to reach the desired results to minimize the risk of legal issues.

Clearly Defined Expectations

Nothing can sour a relationship faster than unmet expectations, and this is what makes an engagement letter such a crucial aspect of doing business. When entering into a client-lawyer relationship, the client must clearly outline what services they require, and the lawyer must state the services they will provide, including a timeline for the work.

Maintaining Confidentiality

For both parties, beginning a lawyer-client relationship is exciting. The security of each party, however, and the specifics of the engagement letter must be kept a secret. Lawyers are obligated to keep their client's information discreet and private throughout the partnership. Clients must also be aware of their duties to maintain privacy and confidentiality.

Always Be Professional

Finally, just like any other professional relationship, it is helpful to cultivate a respectful and professional relationship between both parties. For clients, this means truthfully providing all relevant information. For lawyers, professionalism means that they must always protect their client's best interests and provide accurate legal advice.

Why is a Letter of Engagement for Attorneys Important?

  1. When you are working with a new client or anew business, a lawyer engagement letter is in both parties best interest. Engagement letters can be written and legalized much quicker than contracts, making them the ideal choice for clients or businesses looking to start a project as soon as possible.
  1. The challenge that businesses face on a global level is creating an all-encompassing letter of engagement. Even with all of the information online, it is difficult to fully understand what to include in a legal engagement letter. However, a letter of engagement template can prevent scope creep and ensure that the agreement is time bound, and well-documented to provide maximum protection.
  1. The letter of engagement helps you protect your profits by ensure you are only agreeing to a limited set of services. It is more comprehensive than a traditional scope of work contract

Thankfully, the process of creating a lawyer letter of engagement can be made simple with the help of Bonsai. Bonsai has leveraged its experience to develop helpful software for businesses. Simply sign-up for a free trial and get unlimited access to their entire collection of engagement letter templates. With the help of Bonsai’s templates and software, you can streamline the process and ensure your lawyer's letter of engagement clearly outlines the details of a project.

Formalizing a new work relationship does not have to be an overly complex legal matter. To simplify the process, use this guide as an overview, download a relevant Bonsai template, and work with a legal professional to finalize the specific details.

Start the process of creating a lawyer engagement letter today by visiting our templates page. With numerous templates in every niche, you can quickly start creating a lawyer letter of engagement to use when formalizing your next deal.

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

What is a lawyer engagement letter?

Simply put, a lawyer engagement letter helps set the stage at the beginning of any attorney/client relationship. It is an agreement of what will be done and on what terms.

Can I create my on letter of engagement?

Yes, It is possible to write your own letter of engagement as an attorney. However, given the time, cost, and comprehensive details needed to do so, we'd highly recommend leveraging a legally-vetted solution to streamline the process.

Template preview

Sample Lawyer Engagement Letter

Lawyer Engagement Letter

First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

Lawyer Letter of Engagement

We, the Company, are pleased to confirm our understanding of the services we are to provide for [ENTER CLIENT NAME] (“Client”). The services we intend to provide shall include: [ENTER SERVICES DESCRIPTION] (collectively the “Services”).


The objective of our engagement is to: [ENTER OBJECTIVE OF ENGAGEMENT/SERVICES].

We are not required to, and will not, verify the accuracy or completeness of the information you provide to us for the engagement or otherwise gather evidence for the purpose of expressing an opinion or a conclusion.






Client agrees to provide Company with requested information, documentation, and explanations of supporting data as needed on a timely basis. If Client fails to comply with this requirement or any of the terms of this engagement, as outlined herein, Company reserves the right to withdraw from this engagement without completing the objectives of the engagement.


The Fee for the Services shall be as follows: [ENTER FEE TERMS FOR SERVICES] (the “Services Fee”). Client shall reimburse Company for all reasonable expenses incurred by Company in performing the Services pursuant to this Agreement, only if Company receives written consent from an authorized representative of Client prior to incurring such expenses.

You agree to hold us harmless and to release, indemnify, and defend us from any liability or costs, including attorney’s fees, resulting from Client’s knowing misrepresentations to us.

We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you and believe this letter accurately summarizes the significant terms of our engagement. If you have any questions, please let us know. If you acknowledge and agree with the terms as described in this letter, please sign below and return it to us.


Client agrees to hold Company harmless against any and all claims for loss, liability, damages, judgments and/or civil charges arising out of or in connection with or arising out of the acts or negligent omissions of Client.


In no event shall Company’s aggregate liability to the Client for all claims, whether in contract or any other theory of liability, exceed the Services Fee provided herein.


The term of this Agreement will begin on the date this Letter of Engagement is signed and acknowledged by Client and shall continue until the earlier of (1) final completion of the Services or (2) termination as provided herein. Either party may terminate this Agreement upon giving the other Party [ENTER NUMBER OF DAYS] days’ prior written notice of such termination. Upon such termination, all rights and duties of the Client and Company toward each other shall cease, except Client will pay, within [ENTER NUMBER OF DAYS] days after the effective date of termination, all amounts owing to Company for Services completed by Company prior to the effective date of termination and for any expenses incurred by Company on behalf of Client in rendering the Services.


This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws applicable in [ENTER APPLICABLE COUNTY] County of the State of [ENTER APPLICABLE STATE], excluding conflicts of laws principles.

We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you and believe this letter accurately summarizes the significant terms of our engagement. If you have any questions, please let us know. If you acknowledge and agree with the terms as described in this letter, please sign.


First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.