Advertising, Law Schools

Business Cards for Law Students: Terrific or Tool-tastic?

We’ve written before about clever and mortifying business cards for lawyers. But everyone would agree that business cards are essential for practicing attorneys.

What about for attorneys-to-be, i.e., law students? A reader asks:

Emails have been gone around NYU and Columbia law schools recently about business cards. More specifically, about me needing to buy school business cards.  Is this normal? Do 1Ls and 2Ls actually need business cards that read “Columbia Law J.D. Candidate 2012?”

Consensus seems to be that they’re incredibly douchey and pretentious, but is it actually helpful for networking events and EIP/OCI? I know a few students have them…. but is this something to which I should give serious consideration? Is this the norm among law schools and I’m just ignorant? Or is this just some more junk advice from career services?

One of our tipsters has a very strong opinion….

This is an email NYU just sent all students [reprinted after the jump]. The market is crumbling and you pay 45k a year, but hey, how about you pay a little extra for business cards? When you don’t even have a job.

What are they supposed to say on them? NYU student, will stab anybody in the back for a Biglaw job?

Accord:

I guess this means NYU Law is going to move up in the D-bag rankings if not the other ones.

But we respectfully dissent. We advise law students to get business cards — either through your school, which gives you the advantage of the school name and seal, or on your own. There are a variety of websites that will let you create your own business cards for free.

Given the still challenging legal job market, you can’t just expect a job to fall into your lap. The days when law students could count on automatically getting a job through on-campus interviewing are over.

So networking is more important than ever — and how can you network without business cards? Showing up to a networking event without business cards is like showing up to a drug deal unarmed. If you meet a potential employer, or even just a possible mentor, at a conference or even at a party, do you really want to be scribbling your name and contact info on a cocktail napkin?

Perhaps the issue is not with law students having business cards, but with law schools charging their students for them — rather than throwing them in for free, given the high price of tuition. Opines one reader:

I think the hypocrisy that is taking place at the better law schools is something that needs to be addressed.

They act like they are doing us a favor by letting us buy business cards. The only advantage I could think of having a business card during interview week would to seem organized and professional, but if nobody has a business card, then nobody is at a disadvantage without one!

So not only do we have to pay $45k a year to these scam artists, but we also now have to pay an extra $40 to keep up with the gunners, for a goddamn business card that nobody would have anyhow if the school didn’t offer them.

I am a 2L with a Biglaw summer lined up, and this still just shocks my conscience…. Business cards, give me a f**king break.

Here’s a third way of thinking about business cards for law students: are they perhaps obsolete, in this electronic age? If you meet someone at a function, you can just whip out your Blackberry or iPhone and add the person to your contacts. Or email them. Or add them on Facebook or LinkedIn. In fact, one woman in New York has a very simple business card: it has her full name, followed by the line, “i’m on facebook.”

Readers, what do you think of law students having business cards? Take our poll:

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW — EMAIL — NEW BUSINESS CARDS

Dear Students,

We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to purchase business cards to assist you during the interview process. The cards are ordered and printed through NYU’s Copy Central. There are three templates to chose from and the prices range from $20-$43 based on type and quantity. For more information, including viewing samples and placing and receiving orders, visit our webpage: http://www.law.nyu.edu/students/studentaffairs/studentbusinesscards/studentbusinesscards.

We hope you find this resource helpful. Contact the Office of Student Affairs at [redacted] with any questions.

Business card: ‘I’m on Facebook’ [True / Slant]

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