To Esq., Or Not To Esq.
November 10, 2011 § 15 Comments
I’ve never fully understood placing “Esq.” or “Esquire” after one’s name as a lawyer.
A. Someone told me that it is our version of a doctor calling themselves Dr. as a prefix.
B. Someone else told me that you should never refer to yourself as an Esq., but that it is reserved for others to use when referring to you. I.e. Improper to use Esq. on outgoing correspondence, but it is acceptable for individuals to address correspondence to you with Esq. added.
C. Someone else told me that Esq. is something used to demonstrate the awarding of a Juris Doctor degree, but it did not denote bar membership or the active practice of law.
D. Someone else told me that Esq. was commonly used by people who finished law school but were not yet a member of the bar, just to feel spiffy.
E. And yet someone else told me that placing the term Esq. behind your own name is a fantastic way to demonstrate that you are a self-absorbed prick.
So, what is the truth?
No, seriously, I’m asking.
Or, should I just continue to ignore the term? I am also considering adding the prefix “Hip Hop Mogul” for myself, but that will be the subject of a separate post.
After a few years of reflection, I give you the following: while some well-meaning and good people follow rule B in earnest, the answer is almost always E.