DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a lawyer of some age, having a license for more than 40 years. I often have to address written communications to female colleagues.
When I began practicing, it was observed that the title “Esq.” was exclusively for male lawyers, no females having been squires. In letters, females were addressed as “Atty.”
Those who inquired were told that the female version of “Esq.” was “Good Wife.”
Now, my habit of referring to women as “Atty.” has come under fire, notably when I upbraided a woman for listing herself with the honorific “Esq.”
The dictionaries now state that it is a unisex term. I’m not so sure. What does Miss Manners think about using the term “Esq.” after a woman lawyer’s name?