The Friday Five
Lawyer’s Gift Guide: Time to Tech the Halls
It’s been more than a decade since I launched my annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers to provide ideas for friends and family rather than have them select yet another gift plastered with the scales of justice. Over the years, I’ve guided gift-givers to law-themed gifts as well as fun tools and toys perfect for busy lawyers: from legal board games to artwork by lawyers; from bacon vodka to iPads.
The 2015 edition will feature more tech gifts than ever. It’s a reflection of the times — we are more and more a tech-powered society. Technology tools can save us time, make tasks easier, remove the hassles of a hectic day, and provide access to an ever-shrinking world. That’s why tech tools make great gifts for lawyers.
Your Holiday Wish List Starts Here
The 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers will debut November 23 on ReidMyBlog.com, but I’m pleased to share a sneak preview of the hottest items for lawyers this holiday season. Share this preview or the entire guide with your family and friends (Facebook works) to let them know to skip the scales this year!
1. Beam me up, Alexa! Tech the halls of your home with the coolest gift of the season — the Amazon Echo. It is a small Internet-connected device (about the size of a can of Pringles) for your home that listens for your voice commands to perform tasks such as playing music, telling you the latest weather forecast, or adding an item to your grocery list. Echo uses the Alexa cloud-based voice service to listen and carry out your commands. More people may be familiar with Apple’s Siri, but Alexa may be far superior. It also connects with numerous home automation systems to help control lighting, security and other emerging functions.
2. Words from the wise. Inspiration can be found in Justice Joseph Story’s Advice to a Young Lawyer, memorialized on black marble and suitable for display on a desk or wall, for lawyers young and old. It’s available from the Supreme Court Historical Society.
3. Hit it out of the park! If you know a lawyer who is a baseball fan, look no further than the Justice Baseball from Unforgettaballs. This handmade, colorful collectible comes in a lucite cube to be proudly displayed on a desk or shelf.
4. Surreptitiously tuned in. The Apple Watch hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm, but it does have great application for lawyers. Many are prohibited from using smartphones in courtrooms, but a quick glance at the wrist to review an important text message goes unnoticed because it looks like you are merely checking the time. The same works if you are in a client meeting or deposition and get a message from your spouse or child. Other useful functions — Apple Pay, the ability to make short voice reminders using third-party apps like Just Press Record, and fitness benefits — make this item great for lawyers.
5. Have a Fit(bit). I received a Fitbit Flex as a gift earlier this year, and it changed the way I exercise, sleep and eat. I now have a much better understanding of my sleep patterns, calorie consumption and overall daily activity. I highly recommend every busy lawyer have a fitness band to help them meet fitness goals, even if you are not a fitness fiend. You can’t go wrong with a Fitbit Charge HR or Surge, Apple Watch or the newly re-engineered Microsoft Band.
Reid Trautz is Director of the Practice and Professionalism Center at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He is a past Chair of ABA TECHSHOW and a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. A highly regarded speaker and author, Reid is co-author of the ABA book "The Busy Lawyer's Guide to Success: Essential Tips to Power Your Practice." He blogs on innovation in management and ethics for lawyers at Reid My Blog! Follow him @RTrautz.
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