Law students need love too!
Welcome to the Internet’s biggest and most comprehensive ultimate gift guide to the absolute best gift ideas for law students! Law school is a unique (and uniquely challenging) experience. My colleagues in Law School– ever the poets– have described the experience as “soul-crushing”, “the most challenging thing you’ll ever do”, and “the perfect cure for optimism”. In short, law students are going through a challenging time, and they could use a little love and support!
The right gift can really make a big difference in your law student’s life: it helps them know that they are loved and supported, can make their life a little bit easier, and add a little fun to the daily routine of dry texts and cold-hearted analysis.
Please consider this list something of a work in progress– whenever I stumble across a new gift idea or a link to a useful list, I’ll add it to this page. So check back soon, because in less time than it takes to explain adverse possession, this page will be transformed into a treasure-trove of tips that will turn you into a genuine gift-giving goddess (or god, as the case may be).
Gifts for Law Students
- Book: Scott Turow’s One L
The night before his first exam at Harvard Law School, Scott Turow was so riddled with anxiety he tried every trick in the book to calm himself down: a glass of Whisky, sleeping pills, sex with his wife (twice) — yet nothing was a match for the terror of law school exams. Only someone who has been there can truly understand Law School, and Turow manages to explore the ins and outs of a law student’s life in a way that is equal parts enlightening and entertaining. No law student should be without this book!
- Book: What Can You Do With a Law Degree?
At some point in Law School, every Law Student experiences a crisis: “Am I really cut out to be a lawyer?” they ask themselves. Watching the student loans pile up, and discovering that practicing law is not at all like it’s depicted on TV, many will begin to wonder if they’ve made an extremely costly mistake. Trust me, it happens to everyone! BUY THEM THIS BOOK! In fact, buy it for them before they experience an identity crisis, and it will make the law school experience so much less terrifying knowing that there are many paths one can take with a law degree, some of which may be just as glamorous as those TV lawyers make them out to be!
- Book: The Nine
Every law student secretly dreams of one day arguing before the Supreme Court — it just doesn’t get any higher than this in the legal profession. For the perfect reminder of why law school is worth all that hard work, give them a behind closed doors view of the most powerful courtroom in the nation that anyone with even a vague interest in the law will find difficult to put down.
- Foot Massager
Don’t want to give them yet another book? Here’s an idea that’s a bit more indulgent, yet healthy and practical at the same time. Law school requires spending a ridiculous amount of time hunched over a book at a desk. If you can help them find a little bit of relief they might just consider you a saint!
- Black’s Law Dictionary
A good legal dictionary is a must, and Black’s is the best of the best. Trust me, buy this for them and they’ll be thinking of you often.
More ideas for great gifts on a student’s budget (under $50).
MID-RANGE GIFT IDEAS
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, there’s a lot you can do to make a law student’s life a little bit easier.
- Amazon Kindle Book Reader
Amazon’s new Kindle is the kind of innovation that makes you wonder how people ever got by without it. Imagine: instead of lugging around 40 pound backpacks with 10 different books, you can carry hundreds of books on the Kindle for the size and weight of a typical magazine. Instead of spending hours flipping through books page by page to find that great quote you remember reading, you can do a keyword search and instantly pull up all of the references. Instead of trudging back to the library or bookstore to buy yet another book you need to reference, you can instantly download it, any time of day or night. And when your eyes are so tired the text begins to blur, you can just sit back and let the Kindle read to you. Wow! Now this is what Law School should be like!
- A SUPER Comfortable Reading Chair
Ahh, the classic cozy reading chair! I spent my first year of law school hunched over textbooks at a desk. Then one day I purchased the perfect cozy reading chair, and I’ve never looked back since! Curling up with a textbook and a blanket makes the hours oh so much more comfortable and enjoyable, I can’t even begin to describe it. Best money I’ve ever spent!
- Leather Legal Briefcase
There comes a time in every young lawyer’s life when they need to make the switch from the ratty old canvas backpack to a shiny new leather briefcase. For me, this switch finally occurred when it came time to interview for summer internships after 1L year. 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.
See more ideas for great gifts for students costing under $500.
HIGH-END GIFT IDEAS
- MacBook Pro
Q: What does a Law Student’s life revolve around? A: Laptop, Library, Sleep. Unfortunately, there’s usually only time enough for the first two. If you really want to make a dramatic improvement in a law student’s life, consider giving them a really sweet laptop– one that will make all that time they’re spending on the computer seem, well, damn near enjoyable. My personal pick is the MacBook pro: a true object of desire on campus. Here’s a link to a sale currently going on at Amazon.com.
Still haven’t found that perfect gift? Here are some of my favorite lists of gift ideas for lawyers and law students from elsewhere on the web:
- The Frugal Lawyer’s list tops out at only $25 (as the name might imply), but still includes some very practical items which are sure to be welcomed by any law student.
- PT-Legal Mom goes a bit further, including some creative ideas beyond the usual suggestions of law books and tuition money.
- Metafilter’s denizens are always up for a good discussion, and their wacky ideas for graduating law student gifts are no exception.
- There’s also a discussion on legal gifts for a lucky recipient starting off law school among the penny-pinching gurus of FatWallet.
Well, those are all of the (at least somewhat useful) suggestions for gifts for law students that I’ve found on the web so far… What about you, readers? Did I miss any good lists out there? What have been your most successful gift ideas?