What is the difference between a memo and a letter?


Memos and letters are both written forms of communication that convey ideas, concepts and enable communication between companies, clients and individuals at great distances from each other, but memos are generally more concise. Letters and memos are used in business and professional settings; memos are the primary method of written communication among legal professionals, and between lawyers and their clients. Memos are generally short and brief; they provide facts and summarize information, while letters usually provide greater analysis and detail on a certain subject area.

While memos and letters are both sent from one person or group to another, they vary in length, tone and purposes, and may be written by hand or electronically. Memos generally contain a broad overview of the case or subject matter at hand; they do a good job of summarizing information and providing clarity for readers. Overall, memos are quite valuable tools for lawyers and clients who need to digest case information quickly without having to sift through details.

Letters, contrarily, are generally more formal, and allow greater flexibility for inclusion of emotions and tone. Letters may be written to convey thanks, wish people well and otherwise symbolize care and concern. This characteristic makes them valuable for maintaining good business and personal relationships.

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