Woo-hoo! Law school graduation is FINALLY here! If your friend or loved one is about to graduate from law school, it’s an important and joyous occasion that deserves to be celebrated with the perfect law school graduation gifts.
Scroll down to skip the advice and get straight to the gift ideas!
There are several themes you could go with here:
- Gifts to help them get ready for their law career. Think clothing accessories like jewellery, cuff links, watches, and gift certificates to stores that sell business dress clothing. Also, other fancy symbols of success like a nice leather briefcase or handbag, an upscale pen, executive portfolio, or desk accessories like clocks, desk pads, or organizers. (See specific gift ideas including purchase options below…)
- Presents to help them prepare for the Bar Exam: don’t forget that the first thing to come after graduation is Bar Review. That means stress-relievers, energy boosters, and any thing that offers a tiny respite of fun or relaxation will be very welcome gifts. Ditto for things that make their day-to-day life easier so they can concentrate on studying, like meal delivery gift certificates, house cleaning, or even just a promise to help more with household chores.
- Finally, a third graduation gift idea for law students would be things that will allow them to take a break between law school/ Bar Exam and starting their law career. For many fresh law graduates, those couple of months after they take the Bar Exam are the “last hurrah”, and their best chance to take a really great vacation or tackle a big personal goal before they get caught up in the law firm lifestyle (eg, no life). Consider vacation gift certificates, travel books, fun reading, tickets to sporting events or big concerts, DVDs, or maybe some games they wouldn’t treat themselves to otherwise.
Ok already, let’s get to the ideas!
Law School Graduation Gifts to Prepare them for their Career
So, the law student in your life is headed for a career as a lawyer! While that’s certainly an exciting step, it also represents a huge change in lifestyle from 3 years as a college student in law school, to a traditional and still largely somewhat formal office environment as a new lawyer in a law firm. Law is one of those professions where image matters, and for both men and women that means dressing like a successful lawyer (even if they may still be on a law student budget!). If you’re choosing a law school graduation gift, you can help make this transition much easier for them by helping to equip them with some of the things they’re going to need now that they’re finishing university. Believe me, any of these gifts would be very much appreciated by new law school grads!
For most the goal of law school is to get a high-powered legal job. There’s something about the 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. So make the right impression and ace that interview!
Nothing says fashion sense like accessories, and a nice watch is perhaps the ultimate “status” accessory. It lets clients (and the opposition) know that you’re an attorney who has achieved a certain amount of success. If you are wondering what kind of watch is most appropriate for the formal but not-too-showy environment of a law firm, I have some recommendations for formal men’s watches and women’s watches.
Nice cuff links are another one of those small details that separate the “I just graduated from law school and barely know what I’m doing here” boys from the “I’m a lawyer and here to do serious business” men. Few law students have cuff links, so you really can’t go wrong with a law school graduation gift like this.
I realize that too many people the idea of spending $200 on a pen you can get one for $0.79 that does the same thing might seem a bit ridiculous. But again, law is a profession where image matters – are you going to hand your client a 79 cent plastic Bic to sign a $20 million contract? Clients expect their attorneys to act like someone who is worth $400 an hour, and part of that image is using a nice pen. Amazon has many options, or if you don’t like paying full price you can often find great clearance deals at Executive Essentials. They even offer free engraving to make your gift personalized!
Most women at the firm dress up their outfits with understated, dressy but elegant jewellery. Think small simple pearl or diamond stud earrings, not massive rapper-style bling bling or gaudy colors. Elegant jewellery can be both a practical and beautiful gift for a law school graduate or new lawyer. Some suggestions:
Again, like most female law associates I don’t wear a lot of flashy jewellery around the office. But we are dressed up to some extent every single day, with many occasions for more formal dress. On these occasions I find myself reaching again and again for a simple but beautiful pearl necklace that I received as a gift shortly after my own graduation from law school. It just may be the perfect jewellery gift for a new graduate!
A nice leather business tote or briefcase is a must have for new lawyers, and let’s admit it – not something many of us could afford during law school. I like simple but high quality options like this Tumi Business Tote.
Many female lawyers carry nice handbags to the office and other events. It’s a more feminine alternative to the traditional leather lawyer’s briefcase. Coach is one of the more popular brands.
- Fashion58 offers designer handbags from Prada, Dooney & Bourke, Fendi, Gucci, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and more, usually at 50% off retail
- Linea Pelle is a great source of quality leather products. Use ths link and coupon code to save 15% off all orders:Take 15% OFF ALL ORDERS. Use code LPAFF15 in your cart!
Stocking up on dress shoes for the office and interviews is going to be one of the law student’s first tasks after graduation (post Bar Exam of course). You can make this task a lot easier on them by getting them a gift certificate as a graduation present. I’ve had a lot of luck buying from ShoeBuy.com, which offers free shipping for returns as well as orders, and generally better prices than Zappos. Here are two coupon codes for ShoeBuy.com you may want to try:
Graduation Gift Ideas to Help them Relax During the Bar Exam and at Work
The only downside of law school graduation (well, besides walking away with six figures in debt), is that for the typical law student the next stop is Bar Review and the Bar Exam. Bar Review is a hellish six-week course designed to prepare law graduates for the Bar Exam– it’s not fun, it’s highly stressful, and it takes up most of your summer following law school, right when all your other college graduate friends are out traveling or having fun. Because of the importance of the Bar Exam in a lawyers’ life, anything that can help them get through the Bar Review or pass the Bar Exam is bound to be an appreciated gift. Here are some ideas:
Sure, video games waste a lot of time. But the Wii is a different kind of video gaming system, which in my opinion makes it very well suited to busy professionals: most of the games aren’t some kind of massive adventure that will suck you in for weeks. Instead, they’re party games that will have you moving around, laughing, interacting with friends. In other words, the perfect stress relief for bar exam studiers or first year law associates.
Here’s another one that I received as a law school graduation present, and absolutely loved. If your favorite law student likes coffee, chances are he or she will be consuming a LOT of it while studying for the bar. This gift basket was a cute and delicious way to stock up my supply, and I love that the mugs are huge – law student sized!
Did I mention that keeping properly caffeinated is a major priority for most law students? (And Bar Exam studiers, and new lawyers?) It’s time to graduate from that crappy drip Folger’s stuff that you’ve been drinking and get a real espresso machine – get ready for a major energy boost! PS: if they’re not quite ready for Euro-style yet, you could also consider a high quality coffee machine.
These are probably going to be the graduation gift par excellence this year, especially for the type of person who loves reading, gadgets, and games. But let’s be honest: the main reason everyone is getting one is so that they can be the first kid on their block with the latest and greatest electronic status symbol.
I go into this one on more detail on my bar exam gifts page, but one of the coolest law school graduation gifts I got was a “Bar Review Survival Kit” with a bunch of fun stress-relieving/ energy boosting toys, snacks, relaxing music, etc. Anything you can do to make the Bar Review period easier for your law school graduate would be a tremendous gift! Consider gift certificates for meals, house cleaning, massage, etc.
Still need more ideas for a Present for Law School Graduation?
Whew, if that’s not enough ideas, you can try browsing some of the other categories on this website, or you can try
Amazon’s Suggested Gifts for Recent Grads.
Or, feel free to leave your own gift ideas suggestions in the comments area below!