The year is rapidly winding down, and many of us are feeling blank headed when it comes to gift-giving and what we should get the people we love… or at least the people to whom we are socially obligated to give something around this time. Maybe there are one or more lawyers on your holiday giving list this year, and being not of the world of law and order, you’re not sure what to get them. I assure you, we all have a couple of copies of “100 jokes for lawyers” (probably from a hilarious sibling or cousin) and a wacky tie is going to get worn exactly zero times.
Heck, maybe you are a lawyer and just couldn’t think of a way to bill for browsing Amazon’s online deals (two words for you: telephone depositions). So, let me humbly suggest a few options for things that you can quickly pick up for the lawyer who is, let’s say, ‘fortunate’ enough to have you for a loved one. I tried to think of things in various price ranges, so full disclosure, not all of these are going to be winners. But hey, it’s the end of the year, I’m halfway out the door to my firm’s holiday party, and I’ll be halfway into a carton of egg nog by the time you read this, so I think it’s fair if I phone in this completely fabricated obligation I’ve created for myself.
General Disclaimer: Some of these gifts may only be “last minute” eligible if you spring for expensive shipping, that cost is not factored into these pricing tiers.
Disclaimer to readers outside of the US: These cost ranges are being measured in Freedom Dollars, so adjust accordingly to your godless currencies before making a purchasing decision.
The “Office Secret Santa or college friend you haven’t Seen in a while” Tier (<$50)
Pack of Tide Pens
At the risk of over-sharing, I am a disgusting slob. I also tend to behave in a way that can only be described as “the ‘before’ person in every infomercial who can’t operate in the human world.” Needless to say, these two traits make life in a professional environment difficult. That may make it sound like this gift is really only appropriate for me, but I know I’m not the only one like me out there, I’ve seen the infomercials for the Sham Wow.
Seriously though, everyone needs one of these pens in their office, briefcase, and glove compartment, but nobody ever has one when you spill a tiny bit of ketchup right on your lapel before an important client meeting Ryan…
My Cousin Vinny on Blu-Ray or DVD
My Cousin Vinny is the closest thing to a masterpiece of legal cinema as possible. We all know now that Atticus Finch was a racist, and watching Paul Giamatti’s John Adams feels too much like education to enjoy. Not only is this one of the most true to life legal movies ever made, but Joe Pesci is also every lawyer’s spirit animal. He has multiple bar exam fails and the courtroom demeanor of a bull in a china shop, but still does well for his client despite being a ridiculous and/or contemptable character. You know what they say, art imitates life.
Black’s Law Dictionary
Imagine how you’d feel if someone got you a dictionary, that’s exactly how this works. This gift is great because the recipient will either feel confused or insulted, but will have to pretend they like it or else risk appearing like they’re a rube who doesn’t enjoy knowledge or something. Bonus points if the recipient is sovereign-citizen savvy enough to get it when you say “look up travel.”
The “In-law you got in the family gift swap” Tier ($50-$125)
Decent Bottle of Alcohol
This one is self-explanatory; don’t get anything fruity, this ain’t no 4th of July party.
The standing desk is the gift that says “your butt looks like it’s a little wider than it was last year.” Maybe you recoiled from my admission of being a disgusting slob earlier because you’re a true go-getter. You wake up every morning at 4am and hit the gym before work. Good for you, but you know that a gym membership is a bit too on-the-nose of a gift, right? Get them a standing desk!
It’s fun, it’s professional, it’s trendy, and best of all, you get to flaunt your health and fitness superiority when they open it, by loudly declaring: “sitting is the new smoking, you know.” Who cares if that phrase is so old and tired that Family Guy already riffed on it, you’re not here to spread joy, you’re here to ask the host to warm up your gluten free gravy and flex in the figurative and literal meanings of the word.
1-year subscription to LawyerSmack
In a controversial and highly debated move, longtime “blawger” and all around decent fellow Keith Lee decided that his LawyerSmack group had gotten to large and too unwieldy to be a neat little side project anymore. It was obviously a place that people enjoyed, and represented something of value to many, and he was pouring plenty of time and energy into providing content, forging links between users, and moderating on top of that. It was little surprise to those of us who are active, then, that he decided that he would charge a membership fee to be a part of his burgeoning community. While some have balked at the idea of a “paid chatroom,” others have decided that the cost is not prohibitive, and in recognition of the work put into the community, which is itself larger than the Slack platform it calls home, have willingly paid the fee to participate.
However, not everyone was able to ensure their own survival from the purge of non-paid members that followed. Some have stood on their principle, and are missed occasionally, but are also necessary sacrifices to avoid constant advertisements. Others have said that they would like to remain or return, but that the costs are too prohibitive for them. For those members, and for ones who have yet to even join the group, there is room in LawyerSmack, and we’d love to have them. So this year, why not give the lawyer in your life the gift of a crippling lack of productivity?
The “Relative who got you a really thoughtful wedding gift, so god-as-my-witness Billy, you’d better get them something nice now that you’ve had the merest bit of financial success” Tier (>$125)
At this price tier, you’re almost certainly going to be drawn to art, both originals and prints. But, if this is a gift for a lawyer, you can’t get them anything so pedestrian as to be comprehensible. No, your lawyer giftee deserves only the finest of modern arts. The closer it looks to being compatible with a toddler’s art style the better.
Now, what I just said may make you think that I do not appreciate the fine arts, but nothing could be further from the truth. I love a good art as much as the next guy, and I am perfectly capable of starting at a basketball on a bench and drawing profound meaning from it (so long as I’ve paid the entry fee to a museum for the privilege). So what you’ll want to look for are deep, dark, harsh brush strokes, and colors in the red end of the spectrum to evoke visceral emotions in the viewer. Lawyers need high blood pressure in order to do their jobs more effectively.
On the other hand, if you actually like the person, get them a professional print of the city they work in/near. Law is a very parochial profession, in order to practice in a particular state, you have to seek admission to that state’s bar. This means that Lawyers are often more attached to their particular geographic location than the general population. You know this is true, because just about every law firm website will have a picture of their hometown on it somewhere. Every day I walk into work, I’m greeted by three large prints of my city, with one being of the building I work in. So, if modern art isn’t your thing, find a nicely done professional photo that says “I think you might forget where you live if you’re not exposed to photographic evidence 24/7.”
A Literal Taser
Maybe you’ve seen the commercials on TV talking about a product that claims to solve that ‘2:30 feeling’ problem where you hit a road block after lunch time that slows your productivity. Not too many people outside of lawyers know this, but there’s also a 6:30 feeling, and on occasion, an 11:30 feeling as well. A simple cup of coffee can’t help you in those circumstances, no, you’re beyond that. You’re at a level of tired that can only be solved by one thing: imminent fear of death.
This is where the Taser comes in; simply giving oneself a little jolt to the system should shake him/her out of that tired, restless feeling and get the recipient back to work in a jiffy. Be careful though, you’ll want to caution the recipient against using this gift too many times in a row.
Sleep deprivation is the new smoking, you know.