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Three Pragmatic Gadgets for Law Grads

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By William Peacock, Esq. on May 16, 2013 12:01 PM

Little Jimmy is about to venture onward and conquer the world. You watched him cross that stage after three years in hell, three years of Socratic interrogation, three years of working towards an uncertain future in a profession suffering from unprecedented contraction.

But you don't want him to think about that last part. This is a time for happiness, optimism, and preparation for the next phase of his life (bar review!). You're probably considering graduation gifts. Instead of a traditional gift, such as a watch, how about a pragmatic gadget instead? These three tech toys will not only delight him with hours of Angry Birds, but also will help him study for the bar, send and receive job-related correspondence, and give him access to vast quantities of information from apps, the web, and the cloud.

Laptop

There's been a lot of talk about tablets and the impending "post-PC" age, but it ain't here yet. Have you ever tried typing on an iPad or an Android tablet? It's awful (even with a Bluetooth keyboard).

When it comes to productivity, nothing beats a full-blown laptop. However, if you've been reading our blogs, you'll know that this is not the time to buy! Revolutionary chips are coming in the next month or two. If you aren't the waiting type, two of the coolest choices out there right now are the MacBook Air (ultra-portable and ultra-powerful) and the Lenovo Yoga (a tablet-laptop convertible device).

Tablet

Though we wouldn't recommend writing the next great American novel (or a thirty-page legal brief) on one, a tablet does do many things well. The devices are great for reading e-books, surfing the Internet, using studying apps (including bar review apps!), and of course, watching hours of mind-numbing streaming video after spending all day in a bar review course.

When choosing a tablet, we'd recommend going for one of the 7 to 8-inch variants, such as the iPad Mini or the Nexus 7. Not only are they a bit cheaper ($200 to $300), but the lighter weight and smaller form-factor make reading much easier than hoisting a significantly-heavier 10-inch tablet.

Smartphones

An obvious choice, but it's obvious for a reason: nearly everyone needs a phone. Plus, with an always-on data package, a smartphone will allow young Jimmy to respond to job-related emails and alerts (or extremely important texts from his mother) instantly.

The question, of course, is which to get. If you want maximum utility, choose Android or Apple. There is a good reason why the two major players control 93.7 percent of the market. And though Apple's market share is only 17.3 percent of the market (down from 23 percent last year), a recent survey found that only 17 percent of attorneys use Android devices.

In the overall market, Android is dominating. But in the lawyer market, Apple is king. What about the Jimmy market? Perhaps a gift certificate is in order?

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