The Best Gifts for Law Students
Not sure what gift to get for your law student loved one this Christmas, for their birthday, or perhaps an upcoming graduation? Given the schedule, stress level, and future career needs of law students, the following list is sure to have something your law student wants, needs, or doesn't even realize they need or want yet, but will certainly thank you for!
Law school is expensive. Whether your student desires a few extra pizza and beer nights for their celebration or would prefer to pay for a book or two and stave off loans in the future, cash is never a bad option for any student, law or otherwise.
Want to personalize the gift? Pair it with something practical: a hat from a favorite sports team, personalized coasters with pictures for your student's home, or a nice note about a good memory you share.
Tell Us What You Want!
Are you a law student? What is your top choice for gifts?
A Big-Kid Briefcase
Picture a lawyer. Picture a lawyer running in between meetings with clients, court, to network, and taking work home. Who is his or her faithful companion on all of these endeavors? The briefcase.
Whether your student is pre-law, a first year, or about to graduate and enter the shark pond, he or she will need a big-kid briefcase. You don't look very professional walking to your first day on the job with a satchel or a backpack. Heaven forbid your loved one has to go to the courthouse for the first time carrying a black cloth tote! Even for those younger aspiring lawyers, they will feel far more confident walking into their moot court competition carrying a briefcase instead of a backpack.
Lawyers, employers, and clients judge the quality of your law student or his future lawyer self by what he's carrying. You can find briefcases of many different prices and levels of quality, but the bottom line is that you should get something that looks professional and will last for many years. It is an investment. Indeed, lawyers with new briefcases look green - a slightly worn briefcase is the sign of a good lawyer in the minds of other lawyers and judges.
Considering the needs of future lawyers, be sure that the briefcase you choose has plenty of room for a laptop and a few files, as well as places for pens, post-its, business cards, etc.
The briefcase is not the time to get creative and show your personality. The business of law is a somber one, especially for those aspiring to practice in large cities, with big law firms, or in any area of the law dealing with businesses or wealthy individuals as clients. The previous sentence is more bluntly stated as: if you want your law student to make money, buy them a serious-looking briefcase.
To the right, I have identified several briefcases available for sale on Amazon that will serve your law student well for many years to come and meet all of the above criteria.
Wisdom in a Book
Despite the technology age we live in, many law books are still generally available only in print form. Depending on the level of your student, I suggest buying them a little wisdom in book form that they can reference as they develop as students and later as lawyers.
There is a lot more to a life in the law than just practicing law. Did you know that lawyers suffer from depression and drug and alcohol abuse at higher rates than any other profession, including medical professionals with access to pills? Your law student needs to understand this reality and how they will deal with it in their chosen field before it becomes a problem - after all, you want them to be happy, right?
The books on the left are books that I've utilized time and time again as I studied for the bar, took my first job, and then left my first job to become a solo practitioner and all of the evolution that goes on after that. I highly recommend all of them for your law student, as the organization, tools, and habits they develop as students can make transitioning to the "real world" so much easier if they start sooner!
A Good Suit
Interviews, competitions, networking receptions, meeting "the big client" - these are not times when you can wear casual office wear or a cheap suit and the typical law student cannot afford a good suit. "Big clients" can tell quality and will judge your young attorney based on what he's wearing. To even get to worry about clients, your student will need to get through an intense interview process to get on with highly competitive firms. If your student is the type that competes in in-school or national competitions, a suit can, unfortunately, influence your student's confidence and the judge's and jury's perception of him or her.
This is not a small investment, but it is one that will serve your student well. Make sure the suit fits your student's style as well as his or her body. They will have to participate in selecting and altering it. Surely, they will understand the importance of at least one very quality suit and will be thanking you for years to come.
Something Completely Distracting
Sure, it's great that your student wants to be a lawyer and is very serious about their studies. Remember, though: "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." And then Jack becomes a psycho killer.
Give your law student some stress relief with something fun and completely distracting from the everyday. Think about what made your law student smile unexpectedly or when they were a kid. Dinosaurs? A board game? An old TV series on DVD? Get creative!!
To the right I've listed a few random ideas available on Amazon that amused my law student friends and I a few years ago.
Whether the law student in your life is at the beginning of their studies or nearing the end, the most important gift you can give them is your support and encouragement. Law school is a stressful time for law students and the people in their lives - that means you, too! No matter what event you are preparing to celebrate, never forget the reason you are even looking at giving a gift and remember to cherish the relationship and time together.