business cards in law school

Do You Need Business Cards In Law School?

When you begin networking as a law student, you will likely notice a common trend: almost every attorney exchanges a business card. The practice of exchanging business cards has become as commonplace as shaking hands for an introduction. This can lead many law students to believe that if they want to be successful they too should get cards. This post discusses the ins and outs of business cards and whether it is a tool that law students need. Read further to see our thoughts on business cards in law school!

Do You Need Business Cards In Law School?

The short answer is that business cards are a great professional tool to have as a law student, even if they are not necessary.

Where would I get business cards?

Most law students can get business cards free through their law school, or the school can charge students for them (which seems almost cruel considering the price you are paying for your education). Law students can also make their own business cards online through several sites, such as www.vistaprint.com or Costco.

Who needs business cards?

Generally, senior practitioners and partners are more likely to rely on business cards than younger lawyers entering the market. While many people exchange contacts through quick emails and Linkedin, it is possible you come across a partner who asks for your card. These types of encounters and requests are why you want to have business cards in law school. It is better to have cards and not need them than to be asked for a card and not be able to provide one.

One other situation where a business card might be appropriate is if you are a student representative for the university. If you are attempting to encourage alumni and other professionals to attend an event, it may be helpful to provide them with a card so that they can reach out with questions if they have any further interest. Having business cards with your name and the school seal can help represent both you and the school in a professional manner.

Alumni and guest speakers may also be more willing to reach out if you provide them with a card rather than just scribbling your email on a piece of paper. When considering the potential for these scenarios, be aware that it is likely you will only ever hand out a small number of cards. Keep this in mind before you place any bulk orders!

Why business cards aren’t necessary

The main reason you do not need a business card is that you are a student. Your goal is to network and meet people who can provide you with mentorship and help advance your career. The people you meet with are not expecting you to be able to help their career. Therefore, the burden is on YOU to reach out and make the connections. If you give a potential mentor a business card and expect them to reach out, you will likely never hear from that individual. As a law student, the burden is on you to reach out and establish a connection. Therefore, your focus should be on collecting rather than giving business cards!

If you have any questions about networking and building relationships once you receive a business card, check out our blog Legal Job Search Strategies: Networking.

 

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