Business Card Tips


Working for the firm was the first job I had where I was given a business card. I recall receiving a box of 500 business cards with my name, associate title and contact information emblazed on thick quality cardstock and thinking it will take me my entire legal career to hand these out. It has been seven years and I have gone through a few boxes of business cards, learning along the way how to best present them and myself.

Always on Hand

When I was a first year associate, I rarely carried business cards with me because I either forgot or I assumed that the only business card that a client or potential client would want was that of the partner. I have since learned that it is crucial to have my business cards with me at all times. Clients want to know all the members of their legal team. Further, having a business card to present sends a positive signal that you bring something to the table. Having business cards on hand does not only apply during billable hours. I have met several contacts interested in learning more about the kind of corporate legal work I provide while I was out running errands on the weekends or traveling with my family on vacation. You never know who you may meet, so it’s always best to have your business cards on hand.

Receiving and Giving Business Cards

I default towards a formal approach to giving and receiving business cards, regardless of whether it’s with clients in big business wearing suits, founders in start ups wearing jeans or legal counsel across the conference table. By maintaining consistency, I ensure that those who appreciate the gesture are not disappointed. I receive and give business cards with both hands. I pause to read each business card and am sure to flip it over in case there is additional information on the other side. If I receive multiple business cards at once, I collect them first and then take time to read each of them once all introductions have been made. I keep the business cards out next to my notebook and only put them away in my bag once the meeting is over. This helps to ensure I address people by the right name and title during the meeting and once we are about to part ways.

Record Immediately

Although it can be easy to find contact information online, I make sure to record any business cards I receive in my contacts list as soon as possible. Often, a business card may include a piece of information like a cell phone number that may not be on a person’s online profile. Additionally, I like to include notes in the person’s contact information, such as when/where we first met, mutual friends and business associates or other interesting facts that I may be able to refer to later.

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