Don't worry, we've taken all the thinking out of gift giving for you coworkers -- just follow these three easy tips.
1. Who Is on the Gift List?
First things first; before you have a panic attack and start spending indiscriminately on Amazon, make a list of who exactly is on your gift list. Make sure you include your support staff like your admin, or particular paralegals you have working on a case with you. If you have a mentor, or partner that you work with the majority of the time, add them to your list.
If you actually go to court (which is doubtful if you are a newbie, but let's just dream for a moment, shall we?), and are there often enough that the clerks know you, add the court clerks too. You may want to add the door man or security guard that you see every morning just for some extra holiday cheer. And, don't forget any Secret Santa gifts or group holiday exchanges your department may have set up.
2. What Is the Budget?
Without first knowing your budget you will have no where to start looking. Knowing your budget is the single most important decision in gift giving, the rest is easy. So how much should you spend? The higher ticket items -- around $50-$100 -- should be reserved for those people that really help you out, like your admin and paralegal. Your boss or mentor can be anywhere between $30 - $100, and will likely depend on your relationship with them. Court clerks, doormen and security guards can get little tokens of appreciation in the under $20 range.
3. What Should I Get?
Now that you have your budget sorted out, you can shop. For lawyers, unless the person you are buying for is a recovering alcoholic, a nice bottle of booze or wine is always a safe choice. Other great edibles include fruit baskets, or chocolates. Then again, pretty much everyone likes a de-stressing massage too. If you want to put more thought into it (but really, when you're billing 80 hours a week do you really have time to spare?), check out our more in-depth list of gifts for co-workers.
Try to relax and enjoy the holiday season and don't give yourself something else to stress about. Follow these three easy tips and you'll get through the gift giving season faster than you can say "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
Editor's note, December 13, 2016: This article was first published in December, 2013. It has since been updated.
- A Lawyer's Guide to Last-Minute Gift Ideas (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- 5 People Every Attorney Should Give a Christmas Present (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- The 10 Worst Lawyerly Secret Santa Gifts (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)