A couple years ago we shared a post about law student business cards. Since that time, a rather large event has occurred that may affect the demand for law students to carry business cards: the COVID-19 pandemic. With many people still wary of transmitting and catching the virus from contact with physical surfaces, not to mention the slough of new variants that seem to be discovered every other week, it’s fair to wonder if law students should bother getting business cards. However, it looks like the business card is one of those things that just won’t go away – after all, business cards have been around since the 17th century and survived through many epidemics already.
While many people may still be wary of handshakes and touching public surfaces, an old-fashioned business card is still an important tool for successful professionals, lawyers included. There have been a few waves of “digital business cards” throughout the years that would have been great for today’s world, but none of them were able to stick around for long (remember Bump?). One of the problems with these products is that there will always be security risks involved when connecting two smart devices; but likely the biggest inhibitor to going with fully digital business cards – at least for the time being – isthe fact that some lawyers and judges may not be as comfortable with new tech and smart devices as millennials and Gen Z-ers. Asking them to exchange information via Apple’s AirDrop function, Bluetooth, or a QR code can end up being much more of a hassle than simply handing over a piece of cardstock. Whenyou’re a law student or new lawyer still developing your network of mentors, making the exchange of information as easy as possible for the people you connect with is more important than your own convenience.
As we’ve mentioned before, the purpose of a law student’s business card isn’t to prompt the recipient to contact you. Instead, it should simply remind them of who you are when you reach out, and hopefully they’ll be able to recall your conversation. Business cards can play an even bigger role in this if you were only able to briefly chat with an attorney or judge, and you quickly exchanged cards before going your separate ways. For example, perhaps you had a productive but quick chat with an attorney in the hallway between court observations. Having a business card to offer will help them remember you when you follow up that 2-minute conversation with a phone call or email later.
The business card may seem like a relic of the past, but it will continue to have its uses for law students and lawyers alike. Every fall semester, McGeorge students have access to buy custom business cards through MOO.com. If you need assistance figuring out what information should go on your card, make an appointment with a CDO advisor to help you create something that will leave a memorable impression on whoever receives it. Perhaps we’ll see a time in the future where physical business cards are no more and digital cards are commonplace, but for now we continue to rely on the tried-and-true method.