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A Gift Guide For Law School Grads

The law school odyssey is coming to a close for many students this year, and before the focus shifts to studying for the bar exam and staring blankly into the middle distance contemplating disappearing job prospects, these graduates deserve some gifts.

Obviously, the best gifts for a newly minted J.D. would be “comprehensive debt relief,” “job offers,” or “straight cash, homey.” Unfortunately, you may not be able to deliver these gifts — at least not in amounts that anyone wants — or you may just not care that much about the graduate.

So we’ve compiled some gift ideas, ranging from serious to specious, for you to consider…

Before we begin, a quick policy statement: ATL is not being paid to promote any of these products, but when available from Amazon, the products are featured with affiliate links, meaning that ATL receives a small commission from Amazon if you buy something through that site.

Office Equipment

If your graduate is lucky enough to have a job lined up for after the bar exam, consider office accouterments. A bare law firm office is one of the saddest scenes in the world. Levenger makes a handsome desk set that can be purchased in whole or in part to spruce up an office. The adobe color makes for a more modern looking office.

For a slightly more “old school” look, here’s a burgundy oak set from Amazon. This set is a little cheaper and includes a letter opener, and what gift is complete without a sharp object? And it can provide the lawyer a leg up if the client is Jodi Arias.

On the lighter side, there’s the Legal Decision Maker Desk Paperweight that allows a lawyer to cede all decision-making to the Fates.

The Case

The classic law school gift is a briefcase. But the days of the hard-sided rectangle of doom are in the past. A soft-sided, elegant bag that can store a laptop with room to spare is the order of the day. Kenneth Cole makes just such a bag in brown, black, and tan.

For a more vintage look, here’s a retro satchel from the appropriately named Nice Leather Goods.

And if you feel compelled to purchase a hard-sided briefcase, Alpine Swiss offers an expandable briefcase with pockets for modern essentials like a smartphone.

One more option is the iPad case. For example, this leather iPad 2 case from Snugg.


Whether the grad is a chess aficionado, or just seeking a conversation starter to place in his or her new office, this legal-themed chess set from Approach the Bench is a winner. The set includes a customizable plaque to commemorate the occasion.

If you’re interested, check out James Mellis, the creator of this set, on “Today’s Verdict” tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. on

And, of course, there’s Passing The Bar, the board game designed to help the graduate overcome the next hurdle in their lives. Or the “Game of the Year” award-winning LAWSUIT! Board Game.


Lawyers like to drink. They don’t call it a “JD” for nothing. But as a graduation gift, a case of PBR tall boys seems a bit gauche. It’s time to drink classy.

It is an indisputable truth that “Bourbon is a great way to alcohol.” Caskers, a spirit distributor founded by Harvard Law grads, offers a Whiskey Club, providing a selection of craft whiskeys.

After5 makes a handy office tool: a flask concealed in a working pen. The “Write Shot” doesn’t hold a lot of liquor, but it might hold just enough to sustain the newly-minted lawyer through a five-hour meeting about comma placement in an agreement. Along similar lines, check out Bender Bound’s federal reporter volume that can also hide a flask of your favorite beverage (previously mentioned here).

Non-Alcoholic Drinkers

If the grad’s liquid drug of choice is caffeine, there are some cute legally-themed coffee mugs out there. For example, this Supreme Court case mug displays famous cases when cold, and shows only shortened names when filled with hot liquid. It’s like the blue mountains on a Coors Light in reverse! Another mug with the same qualities is the Disappearing Civil Liberties mug, which shows the Bill of Rights when cold and erases those compromised in recent years when filled up and hot.


Jewelry for Counsel makes, well, jewelry for counsel, such as necklaces in a variety of styles, as well as earrings and cufflinks featuring the scales of justice.

For the rising lawyer seeking a practical timepiece, Fashionably Geek offers a “Billable Hour” watch. As someone liberated from the billable hour, maybe I find this funnier than a practicing lawyer suffering under the oppression of the clock would.


The hackneyed option is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! But come on, let’s get original. Maybe it’s my newfound interest in the legal significance of Dr. Seuss, but I’d go with Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The tale of Yertle’s unrealistic demands at the expense of the minions he trods upon is just the thing to prepare the grad for a career in Biglaw.

There’s also The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons if you want to say, “Hey, you’re a lawyer, and you’re also pretentious.”

Sadly it’ll be another year before law grads can snag a copy of Supreme Ambitions by David Lat.


Look, when it comes to art, nothing tops dogs playing poker. Thus, I bring you “dogs being lawyers” in Breach of Promise Suit.

It doesn’t get classier than that.

Feel free to include other suggestions in the comments.

Earlier: Jodi Arias Is a Woman That Not Even a Lawyer Can Love
Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Craft Spirit Curators
CLE With Dr. Seuss: I Do Not Like Jurisdiction In Rem, Said Sam-I-Em
Exciting News About Supreme Ambitions

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