Since you tell us nothing about the letter, what it says or how it affects you there is no way to answer you. Lawyers often have staff members send out letters under their supervision.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at email@example.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.
In the past few months, I've received several letters signed by the President, as well as a signed photograph. I don't think I can get much for them, even if he wins. Abraham Lincoln had his secretary (Stoddard) sign most of his routine correspondence, but Stoddard's signature, with a "by" would appear on the document.
If the letter is signed "Joe Blow, Esq. by P.L.", and is simply a cover letter, or routine request for information, such as a request for medical bills in a car crash case, fine. Where my staff has signed letters of this sort in their own name, stating their non-lawyer positions, I have frequently gotten back correspondence addressed to the staff member as a lawyer, with a greeting , "Dear Attorney _______". This could turn out to be unamusing under certain circumstances.
If the letter contains legal substance or advice, it should always be signed by the attorney and nobody else. In ancient times, say pre-1990, when legal secretaries roamed the earth, and men spoke only to dictaphones, and women transcribed them (men being congenitally unable to type, or perhaps to spell), the dictator's and dictatee's (who may have been the actual author, where the dictation was merely an outline) initials, separated by a colon, would appear at the bottom left of the letter.
It would be improper for a paralegal to sign the lawyer's name without the "by",
The foregoing answer does not establish an attorney client relationship, is not confidential, and should not be relied upon in place of an actual consultation with an attorney. Mr. Boone is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, before the U.S. Tax Court, and the Federal District Court of Massachusetts. Most initial consultations are free. Further information is available on my profile and at www.boonehenkofflaw.com.