More Essential Equipment for the Traveling Attorney


Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

Last week I wrote about essential equipment for attorneys on the move. After reading the comments for that post, I felt compelled to add some of the items readers suggested.

Here are some other items to bring when you hit the road.

The basics: pens and legal pads

Sticking these in your bag seems so obvious that it almost goes without mention. At the same time, they are so important, it is worth another reminder.

If you are frequently note-taker (guilty), stick one or two legal pads in your briefcase or laptop bag and keep them there. For pens, buy an extra box of your personal favorite and stick them in there as well. Having your normal office tools is essential to a seamless transition when working out of the office.

Car chargers

If you burn up your smartphone battery like most attorneys, then you better have a car charger. Depending on your phone, they usually run around $20. Even if you only use it twice a year, that is still worth the price. If your phone is your lifeline and connection to your office, not spending $20 to cover your butt is a poor choice.

You might want to invest in either a cigarette adapter power outlet or a power supply for your laptop. You can always plug in your computer at a client’s house or a gas station, but there are scenarios when you need to access your laptop in your car.

Notary stamp

If you are having a client sign an affidavit or other document, it is much easier to notarize them yourself, rather than asking them to take care of it and mail it to you.

If your client requires a home meeting, there is a good chance it is difficult for them to leave the house or it is a major inconvenience. Bring along your stamp to make things easier for your client.

Best of the rest

You can never go wrong with an extra bottle of hand sanitizer or two. Keep one in your glove compartment and one in your bag.

If you can find room, bring along some spare clothes. Whenever I travel to hearing long distance, it seems inevitable that I spill something while eating (usually eating while driving).

Speaking of which, bring along something to eat and drink. When you are done with your meeting or hearing, you can get home that much faster if you do not have to stop for dinner.



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  • Jennifer Munter Stark

    I have enjoyed this line of articles. I travel alot in my car for work-and am forever inconvenienced if I actually have to unload it to transport a full load of children or others.

    Since you seem to be gadget savvy what do you suggest for tracking mileage? Is there an app? Is there something that will connect with my case management softwear? I have a pad and a calendar in the car but actually using it ( or finding the slip of paper) until the year following when I incurred the mileage (when I am doing my taxes…or billing a file) seems to be a recurring issue. That $.51 is important.

    • I’m low-tech with vehicle mileage tracking, and just use a vehicle mileage log like this one, which you can pick up on Amazon or at any office supply store. I always forget to fill in the odometer reading at the beginning of a trip, but as long as I remember at the end, I can insert the correct mileage using Google Maps.

      • I always use Google Maps to calculate the mileage, to make sure I get it absolutely correct.

  • Dan

    Really? Legal pads and car chargers are your essential equipment? You think after 7 years of higher education we could figure that one out on our own. What about thinks like an iPad, or a Mi-Wi, or a travel power inverter (so you can use any device in your car)? What about travelling attorney apps?

    Lawyerist has been dropping the ball lately on providing HELPFUL content. This series and the “unbundled legal services” series have been about as useful as reading lorem ipsum text.

    • @ Dan – take another look at the post, I talked about power chargers extensively, and also linked to another post on apps for traveling attorneys.

      • Dan

        Extensively? You only mention one thing: they cost around $20. Well, not always (ask anyone who ever lost a macbook pro charger and had to pay nearly 100 for one). You don’t mention any brands, nor does it talk about things like “I recommend a squid-style adaptor to charge multiple devices — here are the top three”. What about non-cell phones, which can have multiple different kinds of chargers? What about portable batteries that can trickle-charge your devices without an outlet?

        Seriously, a pre-teen could tell you the importance of not forgetting your charger when you go on a trip. You are writing to an audience of lawyers, not 11 year olds.


        • You paid $100 for a Macbook Pro charger? Yikes. I paid $20 for mine.

          Admittedly, “extensively” was a stretch. It sounds like a nice follow up post though, thanks for the tip.