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Best Practice: Effectiveness of business cards for lawyers

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I rarely use my business card anymore. Is there any value for a lawyer to have one?


The business card is not what it once was. Years (decades) ago, the business card was the totality of your identity and contact information, and sometimes a little more information about you. Your name, firm name, address and phone number was everything needed to do business with you. For some, especially solo proprietors, it was your tiny firm brochure. Times change.

The past few years have seen some significant changes. Many of us work more virtually than before, communicate by email, and often change job titles and employers almost as fast as we can print up new cards. We pass along our contact information as part of our email signature. Considering the sterile, information-only business card of the past, isn't it time to reconsider what a business card can do for you?

Tip: Rethink (outside the box) what your business card can do for you. Because it isn't as necessary for contact information, use it to convey your brand, your image, your firm or practice "theme." Consider more graphical or iconic representations or other ways to leave an impression, not just information. Also, think about multiple business cards for different uses - maybe one for contact info, one for specific practice areas.

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC, ( is a past chair and member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics. For more information on law office management please direct questions to the ISBA listserver, which John and other committee members review, or view archived copies of The Bottom Line Newsletters. Contact John at

Posted on July 6, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
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