Should I send out 200 holiday cards?
December 18, 2006 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Please help me with holiday card logistics within a law office.

I work for a mid-sized law firm (about 75 lawyers). I am an attorney, but I work at the firm in a professional staff position.

I've discovered that many of the "powerful" partners are sending out holiday cards to my home (we can opt in/out of sharing our addresses on an intranet system). Checking with some other staff members, I have learned that this is standard at the firm (last year, I'd been at my firm for only a few months when the holidays rolled around, so this wasn't a concern). I want to be perceived as on-par and equal to all of these attorneys.

My question is two-fold. Should I join them and send out holiday cards to everyone in the firm? I certainly have enough cards to do so (I buy on clearance and then forget how many I've bought - it's a problem), but I don't want to seem overbearing or do "too much". Should I send holiday cards only to those who sent them to me? That just seems so exclusionary.

Thanks for your help!
posted by MeetMegan to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
Send them to all or none, do not pick and choose, that would be tacky and would come across as "you gave to me so I gave to you" and "you didn't give to me so I didn't give to you".
posted by illek at 6:36 PM on December 18, 2006

The nonprofit I work for makes substantial money marketing imprinted holiday cards to firms like yours. Maybe next year you could look into what local good causes sell cards and make an impression by using those. Launch a preemptive strike right after Thanksgiving for maximum effect. We start selling around late August and ship on demand, so you can time it like this if you order early.
posted by The Straightener at 7:07 PM on December 18, 2006

Everyone. This is a common law office thing - it's great unobtrusive advertising.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:46 PM on December 18, 2006

Response by poster: Wait here guys. I think I have not expressed myself clearly since you think that the office is advertising. I actually run the marketing and advertising for the firm and I can assure you that these cards are not advertising for the firm - we have other ones that have the firm name on it that we use for those (and we use ones associated with charities too). I am receiving cards WITHIN the firm from people WITHIN the firm. These aren't cards from competing lawyers, they're cards from my own office.

I am inclined to agree with illek, but I'd love to hear more opinions.
posted by MeetMegan at 7:50 PM on December 18, 2006

Are you a partner?

My general understanding of office politics for Christmassy things is that while partners or senior management are encouraged to do things like that to their juniors, the rank and file aren't expected to reciprocate, and to do so would be a bit gauche.

Did people at your level tell you that it was basically expected of them (and of you)? That's what I'd go by.
posted by mendel at 8:21 PM on December 18, 2006

It's still advertising-- you're just advertising you as opposed to the entire firm. I would do this, since you mention wanting to be seen as on-par with the other attorneys. And I would send them to everyone, support staff included.
posted by astruc at 8:22 PM on December 18, 2006

Wait. Do you want to be on par with the other staff members or the power partners?

If the former, go for it. If the latter, I think that the answer depends a lot on your office politics and how touchy they are about position/rank/power games.
posted by desuetude at 8:38 PM on December 18, 2006

I realize it's a law firm - I would still advocate sending them out to everyone. You're new and it's a great way to get your name out there and let people know you exist. And support staff would definitely appreciate being included.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:53 AM on December 19, 2006

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