It’s that time of year again! That’s right, it’s time to choose a delightful Christmas gift for the lawyer in your life!
Maybe your significant other is a lawyer with his own practice. Perhaps your daughter is a
new lawyer in her first year of slaving away at Big Law. Maybe you’re just a grateful client who wants to say thank you to your lawyer for watching your back all year long. Whatever the occasion, I’m with you: as a lawyer and former law student myself, I know what kinds of Christmas gifts lawyers really appreciate most, and can help you to make a great choice!
How much to spend on a Christmas gift for your lawyer
First, a few words on appropriate budget for a Christmas gift for your lawyer. If you’re a client buying a thank you gift for your lawyer or in-house counsel, plan on spending somewhere between $25 to $50 if you’re a small business, and $50 to $150 if you’re a larger corporation. If you’re not sure how much to spend, here’s a handy rule of thumb: take your lawyers’ hourly billing rate and divide by 5. So, for example if you’re buying for a first year Big Law associate that bills out at $275/ hr, an appropriate gift budget would be $275/ 5 = $55. If you’re the lead corporate counsel of a Fortune 500 company working directly with a named partner who bills out at $1200/ hr, an appropriate gift amount might be $1200/ 5 = $240. This is just a rule of thumb of course: feel free to get your local small-town lawyer (billing out at $120/ hr) a gift that costs more than $24 (because let’s face it: he’s probably earned it), and consider getting that Big Law partner nothing at all (because let’s face it: he can just buy it his darn self!).
This page will include Christmas gift ideas for lawyers in all price ranges, but you can also browse elsewhere on the site according to price:
- gifts costing less than $50
- gift ideas costing between $50 and $150
- gifts from $150 to $500
- best gift ideas when money is no object!
Best Christmas Gifts for Lawyers
Ok, without further ado, here are some suggestions on great Christmas gifts that any lawyer will love!
- Leather Legal Briefcase
Let’s face it: this is a tough market for lawyers. A lot of people have lost their jobs. Those who still want to get ahead need to exude the ultimate in professionalism and respect-worthiness. For many, that starts with a glint of shiny leather by your side that exudes authority and says, “Now this is someone who has their act together!” — at least more so than that old Jansport backpack with the strap that’s about to fall off. Great for the partner-track lawyer!
- Experience Day
Here’s a unique gift that definitely won’t be taking up space in the back of the closet: Experience Days from Great American Days allow you to find a unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for person who has everything, because it’s not a “thing”, but rather a unique one-of-a-kind experience that they will remember for years to come. There’s something for everyone, from Great White Shark diving to Biplane Dogfights to private cooking lessons with a master Sushi chef.
- Personalized Executive Portfolio
A leather executive portfolio is something that lawyers use quite frequently– for client meetings and day-to-day organization around the office. Adding a personal touch makes this a classy and memorable gift for any lawyer on your list!
- Gift Cards for Less than Face Value!
Plastic Jungle is one of those ideas so simple and brilliant you wish you’d thought of it: people sell their unwanted gift cards for less than face value; you can therefore buy a great gift card for your lawyer friends at less than their cash value! The recipient doesn’t know that you got a great deal (although I hope they wouldn’t mind anyway!), and you get a lot more bang for your buck. They offer gift cards for everything from Amazon.com to Bloomingdales to American Airlines.
- Personalized Desktop Gadget Charging Station
Here’s a gift that wouldn’t even have existed 10 years ago, but for some poeple is hard to imagine going without today. For the on-the-go person who has a Blackberry, iPod, cell phone, camera, laptop, etc. that all need to be charged, this neat charging station will turn the desktop mess into a slick professional looking personalized home for your gadgets! Never again will you have to hear that sorry excuse: oh, sorry, I would have answered your call but my phone ran out of juice…
- Make a Donation in their Honor
Here’s a unique gift idea: for the person who really does have everything, make a donation on their behalf to an organization that you know they would like to support. Include a note telling them how they inspire you with the good work that they do. Many lawyers would like to support charitable and philanthropic organizations, but just don’t have the time to conduct due dilligence (they are lawyers, after all!) on which organizations are worthy of their support. So if you do that for them you’re really giving a gift that goes beyond the monetary value of the donation.
- Amazon Kindle Book ReaderAmazon’s new Kindle is the kind of innovation that makes you wonder how people ever got by without it. Most lawyers are at least somewhat intellectual and literary people (“inside every lawyer is a frustrated poet”, as the famous quote goes), and really would love to have more time to enjoy their favorite books… But with a busy work schedule and oh-so-much reading to do for work, very few get around to “fun reading” as much as they like. And when they do have a moment of time (waiting at the doctor’s office, in the boarding lounge, on the train ride back from the city, etc…), there’s never anything around to read except for the latest issue of People. Now Amazon has a solution: the Kindle is a compact device that stores infinite books in one convenient package you can take anywhere. Whenever there’s a moment of free time, you can (in under 30 seconds) download any book you feel like reading: today, the latest thriller bestseller, tomorrow, a gripping analysis of the the current economic crisis. Kindle really is the future, and is especially fun for guys who like to have the latest gadgets (and don’t all guys love to have the latest gadgets?)
- A Nice Pen
A truly high-quality pen is an elegant gift that everyone can use. Think about it: when your clients ready to sign that $5,000,000,000 merger contract, are you going to hand him a 79 cent Bic to place his John Doe. Heck no! You’re going to use a pen that lives up the occasion, like one of these. These pens can even be engraved for a great personalized gift.
- Book: How Judges Think
Perhaps the one thing that’s most important for a new lawyer to understand is judges: how they think, why they make the decisions that they do, and how you can get them on your side. The Hon. Richard Posner practically serves it up on a platter for you in this brand new book guaranteed to give you a competitive edge.
- A Day at the Spa
A trip to the spa is a luxury that everyone can use. For a stressed out lawyer, few things are more rewarding than a sanctuary of peace and relaxation!
- MP3 Player
Sometimes you need to take what you can get: if all you have to relax is 17 minutes on the metro for your morning commute, you do the best you can to turn that battered rail car into a sanctuary of peace and tranquility. Enter the MP3 player: nothing provides the energy you need to get going in the morning like your own personal soundtrack. My roommate recently acquired the MP3 Player to rule all other MP3 Players, an amped up iPod Touch, and it has barely left her side since — this is a gift all lawyers will appreciate!
More Christmas Gift Ideas for Lawyers
If you’re still looking for a good Christmas gift for a lawyer, I have a few more suggestions for you: First, you can try checking out my list of Christmas gifts for law students. Or, if the person you’re buying for happens to be a boater, you might be interested in a list of nautical Christmas gifts. There are also some clever gift ideas to be found on the Christmas gifts for teachers website.
How about you, readers, what are you getting for the lawyer in your life this year? A new BMW because she finally made partner? A lump of coal because he failed to prevent you from getting indicted on 17 counts of securities fraud? Maybe a pet bunny so that she will finally learn to relax a little bit?
I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comment box below: