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Gifts for Grads, Law School Edition

Close-up of couple holding packaged Christmas present together. Woman passing gift to boyfriend while congratulating him with New Year. Christmas gift-giving concept
By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 06, 2019 12:00 PM

If you are purchasing a gift for a graduating law student, think twice before you buy.

Some lawyer gifts are passe, like hardcase brief cases. Others will be obsolete as soon as they come out of the box, like so many gadgets. What you need is something in between, that Goldilocks gift that is just right for someone who will soon take the bar exam. No, we're not talking about prescription drugs like Adderall.

'Just Right' Gifts

Seriously, keep your law student away from the party favorites. Stimulants, alcohol, and the law do not mix well. Instead, think about giving them something they can keep. Here are some law office favorites for any budget:

  • A soft-sided, elegant bag (for a laptop and random papers)
  • A handsome desk set (maybe a pen holder and a huge monitor!)
  • A personalized sign ("The buck stops with the partners." Just a thought.)
  • A custom clock (prettier than your iPhone)
  • A classic book (stands the test of time)

A few words about "custom" and "classic" gifts: one person's custom clock is another person's white elephant. If you really know your giftee, then go for the custom gift. If not, then scroll down to the next level -- like a classic book. We're not talking about another casebook or reference material. By graduation time, your student does not want to look at anything that reminds them of that kind of class. A "classic" gift should be like a piece of art. It should sit in a prominent place to stimulate thought. A leather-bound copy of "To Kill a Mockingbird," or "Crime and Punishment" can bookend the best collection of law and literature.

Not Law Students Anymore

The goal of the law grad gift is to take the student beyond law school, across the bar like a sailor setting out to sea. They are not law students anymore. So forget the law dictionaries, case summaries, and summer clothes. If you're a doting parent or loving other with a heart bigger than your budget, surprise that graduate with a trip to the tailor. It will soon be time to put on a suit for a trip to the courthouse.

With a little luck and a final push past the bar exam, that student may pay you back someday -- like after the student loans are paid off.

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