Do law students need business cards? The short answer is, “it’s complicated.” 20 years ago, this question would have been laughable because business cards were the most efficient way to exchange contact information. Now, with everyone having an address book, email, and even networking apps on their phone, it is far more convenient to do everything directly on these devices. That said, there are many reasons that law students should still have business cards. While you won’t (and shouldn’t) be handing out business cards to every legal professional you meet and interact with, you’ll want to keep a few on-hand for when someone asks for it.

As a lawyer, it’s expected that you’ll have business cards. The biggest differentiator between a lawyer’s business card and a law student’s card lies in the general purpose of business cards: it is expected that the recipient will reach out to the card’s owner. If you’re a law student giving out business cards to everyone you talk to at a conference or networking event, you’re implying that the onus is on them to contact you, which can be seen as presumptuous. Instead, you should be collecting the lawyers’ cards, and if there are conversations in which you feel that a good, solid rapport has been established, then you may offer your card after receiving theirs. Keep in mind that different practitioners (including JD preferred positions and those in the Capital lawyering sphere) may have different expectations around a law student’s use of business cards.

As for what actually goes onto a law student’s business card (aside from your name and contact info), a personal website or blog, if you have one, is a great inclusion. If you want to also include your LinkedIn or other networking profiles, make sure to use the simplified URL or a QR code that can be easily scanned. Keep in mind that this is a “business” card, so social networking profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. should be limited to no more than two of your most active accounts (you are a law student – your Instagram handle is NOT relevant).

Law student business card services are available to McGeorge students and will include the McGeorge logo and brand. Early in the semester, students will receive a personalized email invitation and link to purchase cards through MOO.com. Students and alumni who need help deciding how to design a business card or when to offer them can make an appointment with a CDO advisor to receive tips and advice on what to do. When you’re giving potential employers something that is meant to represent you and help you stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.