What Is an Attorney Letter of Representation?

An attorney letter of representation is a document that authorizes a lawyer to represent a client in certain legal matters and/or in a court of law, notes FindLaw, a legal website serviced by Thomson Reuters. The letter of representation serves as a contract that outlines the terms of the attorney-client relationship.

An attorney letter of representation is recommended when entering into any relationship with a lawyer so no misunderstandings occur during the course of the legal proceedings, advises FindLaw. The representation agreement typically covers items such as court and filing fees, travel expenses, compensation due to the attorney, the extent of the attorney's powers and how the attorney-client relationship can be ended.

FindLaw also recommends the agreement specify who is allowed to work on the case. Attorneys frequently use paralegals or other law professionals to assist them while working on a case. If a client feels he does not want a paralegal working on his case, he can add those specific terms to the letter of representation. Clients may also use the representation letter to request a certain amount of regular updates during the course of the relationship. The contract does not have to be complicated, but it should be very detailed and clear so both parties understand what it entails.