Figuring out what to buy the lawyers—and everyone else—on your list can be a chore, but we are here to help. Here’s our annual gift guide packed with gift ideas that are appropriate for the lawyers in your life, the non-lawyers in your life, and for self-gifting. (If you’d like to see what we recommended for gift-giving last year, you can find that here.)
Business Books from Thought Leaders
For each session of TBD Law, the national conference where the future of law is to be determined, we have a selection of books from the best business strategy thinkers we can find:
- Jordan Furlong’s Law Is a Buyer’s Market: Building A Client-First Law Firm will help you think about how to change your approach and adapt to the new legal market.
- SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully, from game designer Jane McGonigal, can teach you how to build resilience by adopting a game-ful mindset.
- Learn how to speed through big thoughts and big problems in just a few days with Jake Knapp’s Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days.
- Wired founder Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future explores the deep trends that will revolutionize the way we work.
A Decent Bag
This is a particularly good choice if you know someone who is just starting out their career as a lawyer. Don’t let them go to court carrying a ragged backpack or a bulky messenger bag. Samsonite and Saddleback Leather both make nice briefcases, albeit at very different price points. Laptop totes are also an excellent choice. If someone insists on biking to work, you can point them towards a selection of bags that still look professional and make the perfect present for lawyers on the go.
The Gift of Never Losing Your Keys Again
Most people have now mastered not losing their phones, not because we’ve collectively gotten better at hanging on to them but because things like “Find my Phone” are baked into the tech. But that doesn’t help you find your keys. Or your wallet, for that matter. If you’ve got someone on your list that perennially misplaces their important objects (or if you’re that person), pick up a four-pack of Tiles. Tiles are Bluetooth trackers that attach to your keys or slip inside your wallet. You can use your phone to “ring” your Tile if you’ve misplaced something in your house, and the app remembers the last time it “saw” the Tile. Now, if you misplace your phone and your keys/wallet, Tile can’t help you, but then again probably nothing can.
A Golf Ball of One’s Own
If you or someone you know is that most lawyerly of cliches, a golf devotee, consider getting them some personalized golf balls. You can use their name, a monogram, or, in an extra-fancy touch, their firm’s logo. However you decide to personalize this lawyer gift, it’s guaranteed to be a hit.
Better Coffee at the Office
The coffee available in their office, your office, anyone’s office, can be terrible. But you don’t have to give someone the top-of-the-line OXO coffeemaker (though it would be awful nice if you did) just to make sure that they have a good cup of coffee. An AeroPress or a Clever Dripper are low-cost ways to ensure delicious coffee all day long.
Rather than just giving yet another piece of stuff to someone, why not donate to a charity on their behalf instead? Heifer International is always a great choice. Your donation helps impoverished communities by providing them with animals that can help people become agriculturally self-sustaining. Gift a donation to your local Legal Aid provider. If you want to do good while still making sure your recipient has a gift to open, give them some A Field Guide to Lawyers merchandise, such as a poster or a mug. Proceeds benefit Open Legal Services, Utah’s first non-profit law firm, founded by TBD Law alum Shantelle Argyle.
A Personal Assistant (Sort Of)
Lawyers might be some of the last people to be comfortable with devices that are always on, waiting for you to wake them with a voice command, but it’s time to acknowledge that the future is here. If you know someone entirely invested in the Amazon ecosystem, give them an Amazon Dot or Echo. Both allow you to shout “Hey Alexa!” to trigger a wealth of services, including skipping that terrible song that just came up on shuffle, setting timers, finding out what movies are playing, and, of course, shopping on Amazon. If you or your giftee is more of a Google person, you can buy a Google Home device. Check your schedule, tell Netflix to find you a movie, get recipe help, and more. Just remember that Amazon and Google keep track of all (and record) your requests, so make sure to learn how you can delete that information.
Make Their Home Smarter
Does your spouse or sister-in-law or best friend or law partner need to be able to feed their cat, control their sprinkler system, or just turn their lights on and off automatically? If so, give them a smart home device so they can do all of those things with their smartphone.
If you’re looking for something less futuristic, pick up some 3×5 cards that are nicer than the ones you get at Staples. Levenger has personalized vertical cards, which are very sharp. Nock also has excellent ones with a dot-dash pattern instead of the traditional lines. Either is great for someone still wedded to pen and paper.
A Blanket in Their Pocket
Spring seems ages away, but when it arrives, people want to go on picnics. Sure, you could give someone a giant blanket to keep in the car, but it’s much handier to give them a blanket that will fit in their pants pocket. Matador’s Pocket Blanket is 63″x44″ but folds up into a tiny pouch. It has built-in sand pocket corners (so it will stay put on the beach) and built-in metal stakes (so you can batten it down against the wind). Impromptu lunchtime picnics, here we come.