'CC' Email Etiquette for Good Leaders

By George Khoury, Esq. on June 19, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For in-house lawyers, climbing the ranks to a management position requires showing that you have leadership abilities. One way to show those qualities is via proper email etiquette.

Unfortunately, printing out a stack of your emails to show your interviewers isn't going to get you very far. But if you're trying to climb an internal ladder, exercising proper email etiquette is critical when there are "carbon copies" or "CCs." Failing to do so could earn you a lasting reputation as a luddite.

Here are three email etiquette tips to be a better leader.

1. If You've Delegated, Get Off the CC

According to Inc.com, a good leader can be easily spotted based on how they manage their team via email. For example, leaders that can delegate tasks without digitally micromanaging everything will not only get more done themselves, their subordinates will feel more trusted, and they take more ownership of tasks. A little trust goes a long way (but don't be careless).

2. Keep It Clean, Clear, and Professional When You "Reply All" ... or Always

With how easily an email can go viral these days, especially when the list of CCs is a mile long, it is always best to keep emails clean, clear, and professional in tone. Legal blogs and the media love to report on stories about leaked emails, and you don't want to be that lawyer. 

If you want to move up the ranks, it's usually best not to be the center of some juicy in-house email gossip.

3. Proofread Every Field, Especially the "CCs"

Lawyers know, when you send something out, whether on paper, or in email, you better proofread it first. Your reputation is on the line. If you ever plan on being promoted, it'll pay to proofread every email you send to everyone, and that includes the subject line, and every email address you're sending to.

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