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Virtual Paralegalism

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Every Paralegal Should Have a Firm Business Card

When I hear, with disturbing frequency, paralegals say that their firm does not provide them with their own business cards, I wonder if the omission is simply an oversight. I hope it’s not deliberate, because there are only positives associated with all staffers, not just paralegals, having business cards.

Paula Black, an author and expert on legal marketing, says in a recent article posted at JD Supra, “For many people, the first impression of your firm will be your business card, making it a cornerstone of building your brand.” Your highly-qualified, helpful staff members, the people that many of your clients and the public have the most contact with, are an essential part of your firm’s brand.

Here are the top three reasons why employers should give paralegals their own business cards, with the paralegal’s name and job title on the card:

  • Emphasize Professionalism: A business card is tangible recognition by your firm that your paralegal is a professional, and an essential and valued part of the practice.
  • Provide Contact Information: A business card is an accepted and easy way for a paralegal to personally give a variety of people, including current and potential clients, opposing parties, vendors and colleagues his or her contact information, including an email address and firm website URL.
  • Market the Firm: A business card is one of the most cost effective ways to market your firm in your community. The firm’s legal staff can play a significant role in the good impression that the firm makes in the community – and their personal contacts may become future clients or referrals.

Tom Kane, another legal marketing expert and blogger at Legal Marketing Blog, says that business cards are an important marketing tool and recommends “giving every staff person their own business cards, since it makes them feel part of the team and could lead to business.”

Does your firm provide you with business cards? Please take the survey at the sidebar.

6 Responses to Every Paralegal Should Have a Firm Business Card

  1. Hard to believe this is an issue. My firm has provided business cards…with my name, title (and it's NOT nonlawyer!), and certification designation for the 20+ years of my employment, no questions asked. Clients ask for them and they are useful for networking. If the jurisdiction's ethics rules allow them, business cards should be provided to every law firm employee. Just be sure that the cards make it clear the employee is not licensed to practice law.

  2. Even if you're only a paralegal student (like me), business cards come in handy for networking. It's much easier to just hand someone a card, rather than fumble around for a pen and paper to write down your e-mail address or phone number. Plus, they're cheap. At Vistaprint.com, you can get 250 cards for less than $10. (I'm sure other companies have similar offers.)

  3. I confess… my firm does not give me business cards. Maybe I should have a talk with my boss. haha

    Then again, I think a lot of small firms or solo attorneys don't give their staff business cards. I went to Vista Print last week and had some very simple ones made up because I'm going to be networking this weekend at a paralegal conference and needed something to pass out with my contact info on it.

  4. Mel — Your boss sounds like a nice guy. Why don't you give him a copy of this post, along with the receipt for those cards? He should reward you for your initiative and foresight!

  5. Paralegal Mentor and others are lucky indeed. My firm does not provide business cards for its paralegals, but that is only a reflection of a wider problem. Our paralegals are slowly being reassigned duties previously reserved for the newly hired or otherwise unskilled. Many have left for other firms, and a few have sought new career paths altogether. Like other paralegals in the firm, I have an advanced degree and am a CLA, yet no one is immune.
    It seems as though our management questions the effectiveness of keeping paralegals on its staff, much less our ability to market the firm.

  6. You're describing a tough but common paralegal dilemma, when an employer delegates less substantive clerical tasks to paralegals that would be more economical and efficient to assign to less highly paid and trained employees, including secretaries and file clerks – especially if the paralegal already handles significant substantial case work.

    I know in this economy that very few of us are immune from having to take on more duties due to downsizing, but if it's not an issue of downsizing and is more of a poor management issue, it might be time to explore your own career options elsewhere. I would never advise anyone to quit their job without another offer of employment in hand, but it's never a bad idea to keep an eye out for more appropriate paralegal opportunities in your area.

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Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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