I am pleased to present the 2008 Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers to help the friends and families of America's Greatest Lawyers find the perfect gift for their favorite and deserving lawyer! Started in relative obscurity in 2005, I now have dozens of people e-mailing suggestions to me from September onward. Still, only the best items make the list. I purchase and test many of the items to make sure they are worthy of being included. Many of the gift ideas are meant for personal use, but some are perfect for the law office too. Some ideas are techie, a few are quirky, but all deliver great value.
My thanks to the lawyers who have e-mailed me to tell me they loved the past guides and it helped them find great gifts for their friends and family. Have a terrific Thanksgiving and enjoy your holidays!
The myth of a pocket-sized projector has now become reality thanks to the launch of the Pico Pocket Projector from the good folks at Optoma. Slightly larger than an iPhone (isn’t everything measured against the iPhone these days J), the Pico throws a respectable 60 inch image in low-light conditions. So while not meant for a big hall, it does, according to reviews, deliver very respectable results in a conference table setting. I have not yet played with this yet, but hopefully my wife will read my guide again this year! About $450 from limited retailers.
Need a gift for the lawyer who already has everything (including a sense of humor)? Then check out the delightfully-twisted world of superhero-turned-lawyer, Harvey Birdman, who now represents cartoon characters in their legal woes, including Shaggy and Scooby-Doo (narcotics intoxication) Fred Flintstone (accused of being head of the Bedrock crime syndicate), and Yogi Bear’s sidekick, Boo-Boo (charged with sending booby-trapped gift baskets to corporate CEOs.) As seen on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, but now on DVD from the good folks at the The Billable Hour. If you are not hooked on this series yet, you will be soon.
3G iPhone: Faithful readers will recognize the iPhone is a repeat in The Guide this year. Thanks to my dear wife who read the 2007 Guide, I received my iPhone for Christmas and have never looked back. This terrific tech tool may seem like a toy because it is so fun to use, but it is built for serious business. With Outlook Exchange integration and a growing plethora of useful web applications, this is the smartphone to have, hands down!
Whether you have a favorite family picture or photo of a memorable vacation spot, Canvas on Demand will enlarge that photo onto quality artist's canvas to be proudly displayed on your office walls. Prices start at $59 for an 8x10; sizes up to 60x40 are available.
I have owned and faithfully carried a Jack Georges leather briefcase for over a dozen years, and it still looks as good today as the day I bought it. So I was pleased to learn that Georges is making a variety of good-looking laptop bags. If my briefcase is any indication, the new laptop bags should last well into this century's third decade.
I used to hate the wired earbuds for my cell phone (now iPhone), but when I moved to Bluetooth in-ear headset, the sound was poor or the background/road noise was too loud. So I returned to wired earphones, but upgraded to the V-Moda Duo with in-line microphone which has turned out to be an excellent solution. The call sound quality is crystal clear for all parties, and I can listen to my music using the same headphones--without that annoying blue light flashing in my ear!
Most portable speakers for iPods (and iPhones) either sound too tinny or are too bulky to carry around. So I was very pleasantly surprised at the big sound coming from the Logitech Pure Fi Anywhere 2 sound bar. Weighing last than two pounds, this sturdy speaker bar delivers substantial volume and high-quality sound. Runs on A/C or up to 8 hours on batteries. A terrific value for under $130, with on-line deals in abundance.
If you want something a bit more substantial for listening to your iPod or iPhone, then consider the iKick500 from Kicker, best known for heart-pounding, road-thumping car audio systems. This 9 lb. speaker will rock your house, rattle your windows, and amaze your friends, whether you like your music soft or really, really loud. Prices start at $250 on-line and at big-box electronics retailers.
The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services is the much-anticipated sequel to Richard Susskind’s landmark book, The Future of Law. It may not be on the New York Times Bestseller List like The World is Flat, but it is no less important reading for any lawyer seeking to compete in the legal profession over the next ten, twenty or thirty years. (Don’t miss Professor Susskind at the 2009 ABA TECHSHOW!)
From the OMG-I-Didn’t-Know-That Department comes word of the perfect gift for sleep-deprived lawyers: The Power Nap Kit! We’ve all heard of the power nap, but did you know it is really a meditative exercise that turns 20 minutes of relaxation into the equivalent of four hours of sleep? The kit contains a booklet and two CDs containing voice-guided relaxation techniques and soothing music. About $25 from At Peace Media.
Does the lawyer in your life already have everything? Then give a membership to the Supreme Court Historical Society, a nonprofit organization devoted to the history and heritage of the Supreme Court of the United States. Members receive a newsletter and the Journal of Supreme Court History (3 issues annually), composed of selected scholarly articles on the Courts history, its members and those members of the bar who have appeared before it. Members are also invited to educational programs and other Society-sponsored events throughout the year.
Almost all lawyers—whether they have been naughty or nice--will enjoy this stocking stuffer- -personalized M&Ms from Mars Candy. Instead of the traditional logo, Mars will replace it with a short custom message and/or photo that you upload to the MyM&Ms website. Get creative--you, too, can be naughty or nice--and devise the perfect message for a lawyer in your life.
Every lawyer should own or share access to a business card scanner to add business acquaintances to their contact database. Many lawyers I could also benefit from scanning expense receipts. Enter the Neat Receipts scanners. Any of the 3 models are simple and intuitive to use, and small enough to leave on your desk or take with you when you travel. For PCs and now for Macs. Starting at around $200 from NeatReceipts.
And if nothing strikes your fancy here, check out the ideas from previous years. . .