By Stephanie Baldwin, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
One of the best things I did to help me network well during law school was to get law student business cards for myself. It was perfect for OCI (On Campus Interviews), attending networking events and distributing at conferences. It was ideal because it made me memorable. Lawyers love handing out their cards at events, and they were always astonished when I was able to hand one back as a student who was prepared.
Here are my tips for creating your very own law student business card:
Use your school’s card template
Find out if your school has a business car template. Many schools have formal business cards that meet specific branding guidelines. This is the type of card I decided to get because it was a very clean design that I liked. The one issue, in choosing to do this way, was that all the social media channels listed could not be personalized and these directed people to my school’s social media accounts rather than my own. But it was rather easy to avoid this by simply not requesting any social media to be printed the business card.
If your law school does not offer business cards, check with your university printing office to see if there is a general business card format for graduate students. The graduate student office will usually have this information or the print shop on campus will provide this information.
If your school does not have a template available, feel free to create your own. I recommend keeping it simple with a classic design (avoid clutter in the form of too much copy or graphics that dominate the card’s smaller real estate). You will already stand out to colleagues by having your own law student business card, so there is no need to do anything too flashy. Remember to keep it professional. You never know who may pass on your card to a hiring partner.
Use a professional email address
For some law students, their school email address may be a mix of letters and numbers that may not appear all that professional or just a little more difficult to remember or type up later. Most schools allow you to have an alias or forwarding email account. Be sure to look into this. For me, this wasn’t a problem because I was lucky and no “sbaldwin” had somehow come before me. But I also created an alias that just consisted of my first and last name.
Set up a Google Voice number
Now, you may question this advice but I have found that having a Google Voice number for my business cards has been a helpful way to manage incoming calls and keep law school networking separate from my personal phone number. It helps eliminate any mistaken texts and enables you to answer the phone professionally when you see that the call is coming in through your Google Voice number. You can also set up a professional voicemail message, which is great if you have a more casual greeting on your personal number. Setting up a Google Voice number is pretty easy, and you may even be able to tie it to your school account.
Decide on all the info you want
As I mentioned earlier, your school might already have a design for your law student business cards and you’ll have to follow that. But if they don’t, be sure to include the following information:
- Your name
- Your school
- JD Candidate (as your title)
- Class of (year)
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your LinkedIn custom link
Get a business card case
At one of my school’s career fairs, someone passed out metal business card cases, however, none of the students were picking them up. I quickly got one for myself and then told my friends they should, as well. They looked at me like I was a little crazy, but at least two of them humored me. If you do not have a case for your law student business cards, you can go online to purchase a slim design sold between $5 and $10 (of course, depending on the color you prefer.) You can also have a custom one made on other sites like Etsy, if you’re feeling it. The cardholder is great because it keeps your stash organized and protects it from being bent. Plus, it gives you a place to put the business cards you collect during your networking opportunities.