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The Friday Five

Attorney at Work’s Gift Guide for Law School Graduates

By The Editors

Sadly, our limited-edition classic Attorney at Work coffee mugs are on back order. But don’t worry: The editors have you covered with five great law school graduation gift ideas to celebrate the soon-to-be lawyer.

Gifts for Lawyer Graduation

1. 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 these recommendations from Analog Attorney’s “Fountain Pen Obsession Starter Kit.”  Our recommendation: You can’t go wrong with the modestly priced, classic Parker 51, shown below. Although, if you are willing to open your wallet a bit wider for an expensive law school graduation gift, consider investing in one of these vintage fountain pens.

Classic Fountain Pen Parker

2. Give a Grown-up Carry Bag

You know that backpack with the bubble-tea stains and “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” patch will need to be replaced, so consider gifting a classic laptop bag or briefcase for law school graduation. They’ll need a bag that is designed to stand up to the office commute and feel at home in court or in a client meeting. From the $3,600 Must de Cartier black calfskin briefcase to the charming $50 Easegave 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 point).

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.

Cartier black calfskin briefcase college graduation gifts

Metiér London’s Incognito cross-body bag comes in leather, linen or suede and fits an 11-inch laptop. Another option, the designer’s Closer All Day Briefcase (shown below in chocolate suede) is generously sized to fit up to a 16-inch laptop, with a comfortable shoulder strap and plenty of pockets (the “perfect slouch”).

Incognito Cross Body Cabas
Closer All Day Briefcase college graduation gifts

Shinola’s Canfield Messenger comes in durable and soft brown navigator leather with, a cotton-lined interior with two slip pockets for your phone and accessories, and a 15-inch padded laptop sleeve.

Canfield Relaxed Messenger

The Coach Houston Messenger (available on Amazon) is a classic in black leather, along with Coach’s Metropolitan slim brief bag, shown below, which is designed with multifunctional pockets and an interior sleeve that holds a 15-inch laptop.

Metropolitan Slim Brief

EaseGave’s laptop bag sports a minimalistic tote-like shape, gold metal hardware and an adjustable shoulder strap, and it’s available in a dozen colors.

EaseGave Laptop Bag for Women

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

3. 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.

college graduation gifts T shirts and mugs

4. 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 makes a great gift for the new lawyer’s desk as well. The nice thing about digital picture frames — this one from Aura, in particular — is that before giving it to the grad, you can preload the frame with images and share a link that allows others to add their favorite photo memories of the grad as well. Aura’s Mason frame, pictured here, 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.

Aura Mason digital frame

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

They may not be Dr. Seuss, but Bill Burnett and Dave Evans’s book, “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” (and their new book, “Designing Your New Work Life“) will give law school graduates the tools to plan the kind of life they wish to lead. Let’s be honest, most students enter law school with no idea what type of law they want to practice or even whether they’ll like being a lawyer. And law school doesn’t do much to prepare them for the realities of practicing law. An outgrowth of the authors’ popular Stanford class, these books show how to apply design thinking to create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling.

college graduation gifts Book image algebra work life designing life

Another law school graduation gift that will help future lawyers get their heads straight is Scott Galloway’s book “The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning.”  Galloway, an entrepreneur who teaches brand strategy at NYU Stern School of Business, co-hosts the “Pivot” podcast and runs Section4, a “business upskilling platform” that offers MBA-level education programming. As the reviews say, “Brash, funny, and surprisingly moving, ‘The Algebra of Happiness ‘represents a refreshing perspective on our need for both professional success and personal fulfillment, and makes the perfect gift for any new graduate, or for anyone who feels adrift.”

Why not tuck all three books into one of those gorgeous carry bags and, oh, the places they’ll go!

Illustration ©

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Categories: Associates, Gifts, New Lawyers, Passions, You At Work
Originally published November 9, 2022
Last updated December 7, 2022
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