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Gift Guide

Attorney at Work’s 2024 Gift Guide for Law School Graduates

By The Editors

Sometime this month or next, you’ll likely be dabbing a sentimental tear from your eye, listening to a stirring valedictory speech — or moving your own tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other. It’s spring, and we are deep into graduation season. And that means the hunt is on for the best law school graduation gifts.

law school graduation gifts

Gifts for Lawyer Graduates

Of course, the most treasured graduation gifts are personal, handmade or handed down — your grandmother’s pearls, your mom’s vintage fountain pen, your grandpa’s money clip. But here are some excellent law school graduation gift ideas for the soon-to-be lawyer, hand-picked by Attorney at Work.

Wheels Up! (Oh, the Places You’ll Go)

Chances are, your graduate can’t wait to get out there. Why not set them up with some grown-up luggage to send them on their way? Arlo Sky’s Zipper Carry-On Max is super roomy and lightweight, with silent spinner wheels and an indispensable removable charger. If your grad prefers soft sides, the TravelPro Platinum Elite carry-on comes highly recommended.

Pearls Are a Lawyer’s Best Friend

Pearls may seem old-fashioned, but graduation is all about tradition, old and new. (Besides, pearls are making a fashion comeback.) Whether your grad’s style is a classic pearl necklace, stud earrings (yes, men wear pearls too), or more modern, pearl jewelry is a wonderful way to commemorate this milestone event.

Mark the Occasion With a Classic Fountain Pen

The best fountain pens are works of art that keep their value over time. If you are new to the fountain pen world, check Analog Attorney’s “Fountain Pen Obsession Starter Kit.” You can’t go wrong with the modestly priced, classic Parker 51, shown below. However, if you are willing to open your wallet a bit wider for a law school graduation gift, consider a vintage fountain pen.

Classic Fountain Pen Parker

A Whole Latte Joy

Help the new grad elevate their home office with a semi-pro espresso setup. For portability and versatility under $200, there’s the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine, available in cherry red, among other colors. At a higher price point, the top-rated Gaggia Classic Pro or Breville Bambino Classic (shown in Damson Blue) is perfect for the hands-on espresso lover. Any of these will keep the grateful new lawyer in barista-level caffeinated bliss for years. Keep them caffeinated with a coffee club subscription (see below) and they’ll be extra grateful.

Bambino, Nespresso, Gaggia Classic Pro, law school graduation gifts

An Upgraded Carry Bag

The reliable, broken-in backpack has served them well, but for law school graduation consider gifting a respectable bag that will stand up to the office commute and feel at home in court or a client meeting. From a $4,000 black calfskin briefcase to a $50 eco-leather laptop bag, there are plenty of options that will give the aspiring first chair a confidence boost, like these (sorted from high to low price points).

Must de Cartier’s black calfskin briefcase boasts palladium-finished metal parts (palladium!), burgundy fabric lining, a laptop compartment, a zipped pocket, two smartphone pockets and one pen loop.

black calfskin briefcase

Shinola’s relaxed Canfield Messenger comes in soft brown navigator leather or black. Its cotton-lined interior has two slip pockets for your phone and accessories and a 15-inch padded laptop sleeve. The brand’s classic large satchel for women is a versatile on-the-go bag with two large exterior slip pockets, a two-way zip-closure main compartment, and a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve.

Shinola’s Canfield Messenger

Coach’s Metropolitan slim brief bag feels just right, with multifunctional pockets and an interior sleeve that holds a 15-inch laptop.

Metropolitan Slim Brief law school graduation gifts

Another stylish option, the sustainably made, mid-priced Monos Metro Tote (above) comes in four shades of vegan leather and features an exterior front pocket that keeps your phone close to hand, a 14-inch laptop sleeve and a large zippered compartment for securing valuables.

The Ecosuzi laptop bag is one of the best options on Amazon. At $60, it sports a minimalistic tote-like shape and an adjustable shoulder strap, and it’s available in seven colors.

Do you need more bag options? Maybe something with wheels? Check out this post from Analog Attorney for some great “go bag” ideas.

Just for Fun Gifts for Law School Grads

Whether they’re a “Better Call Saul” or RBG fan, there’s a mug or T-shirt designed with your law school graduate in mind. Here are a few picks from Redbubble and Fine Art America.

T shirts and mugs law school graduation gifts

Gifts That Keep Giving: Subscription Boxes

Help them curb their DoorDash habit with a meal kit subscription — a gift any busy new lawyer will appreciate. Add a coffee club subscription for the beverage connoisseur. Consider top-rated Atlas Coffee Club — or support small businesses and create a custom subscription of your favorites from a local roaster (like Nashville’s Frothy Monkey). Looking for something with more … personality? Scroll through Cratebox’s unique gift box options. Along with lovely spa treat boxes (TheraBox), they have niche puzzle and games subscription boxes, a spiffy socks and slippers box, and even a tinned fish subscription.

Framed for Life

That impressive piece of parchment deserves a beautiful custom frame set for prime placement on their office wall, but a digital frame also makes an excellent gift for the new lawyer’s desk. The nice thing about digital picture frames is that you can preload them with images and even share a link that allows others to add their favorite photo memories of the grad as well. Aura’s Mason frame is nine inches and comes in graphite or white for under $200. Grads can add up to 10,000+ photos and videos with no storage limit. It requires no memory cards or subscription fees.

What’s Next? The Gift of Finding Joy and Happiness in Life

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans’ classic book, “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” (and their latest book, “Designing Your New Work Life”) will give law school graduates the tools to plan the kind of life they wish to lead. An outgrowth of the authors’ popular Stanford class, these books show how to apply design thinking to create a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Book image algebra work life designing life

In the “damn, I wish I knew that when I was young” category, each year we highly recommend Scott Galloway’s book “The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning.” Pair it with Galloway’s latest bestseller, “The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security,” to help them navigate the current and future economy too.

For an inspiring read, we also recommend Guy Kawasaki’s new book, “Think Remarkable: 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference.

Shameless plug: Be sure to browse the Attorney at Work Bookstore for law school graduation gifts that will help new lawyers hit the ground running — from Affinity Consulting’s essential technology guides for lawyers to Jamie Spannhake’s excellent guide to finding calm in the chaos, Jay Harrington’s advice for new associates, Amy Timmer’s tips for finding and being a mentor and Teddy Snyder’s journal for tracking business development and marketing activities.

Tip: Tuck one (or several) of these books into one of those gorgeous carry bags, along with a notebook and a great pen for an extra thoughtful gift for your graduate.

Disclosure: While we may receive a small affiliate fee for some of these links, commissions or fees earned from partners such as Amazon do not affect our recommendations. Thank you for supporting our sponsors and affiliates.

Image © iStockPhoto.com.

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Categories: Gifts, New Lawyers, Passions, You At Work
Originally published May 3, 2024
Last updated May 5, 2024
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