Show Us Your Desk!

What Do You Have on Your Desk?

By | Oct.21.15 | Daily Dispatch, Law Practice Management, Productivity, Workstyles

By now you’ve probably seen the video The Evolution of the Desk. It got us thinking (and looking askance at our own desks!). If this is the space where we spend our days, it says so much about us. But … what exactly does it say?

  • Mark Tamminga's desk

Attorney at Work readers are always curious about how — and where — other lawyers do their thing — eager to pick up a trick or hint for doing things better or more efficiently. So we asked some of our favorite contributors to give us a glimpse into their office world by taking a quick photo of their desk to share. (We asked that they take an in situ photo and skip the tidying up — we’ll leave it to you to figure out who complied.)

Related: Lawyers at Standing Desks: Benefits and Drawbacks

Mark Tamminga

Partner and Leader, Innovation Initiatives
Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

“My adjustable standing desk with movable, height adjustable dual monitors. The most interesting thing about a standing desk is not the standing part. It’s what happens to the space around the desk. When at normal desk height, the area “behind” the desk is mine. You don’t get to come into that private zone. When set to standing, the entire periphery of the desk is magically transformed into a public group collaboration space. Because the monitors are on their own mount, and can rotate as a unit, three to four people can stand around and work on matters together. Plus they’re standing, which is vaguely uncomfortable and so meetings are surprisingly short and effective.”

Chad Burton

Chief Executive Officer

“It is all about mobility and minimalism for my workflow.”

Nicole Black

Legal Technology Evangelist

“As the Legal Technology Evangelist for MyCase, I travel frequently and work remotely from Rochester, New York, since MyCase is based in California — so mobility is really important. That’s why I have everything stored in the cloud; all I need is my laptop and I’ve got my office with me no matter where I am. Most days I work from my kitchen but some afternoons I’ll shift to my desk upstairs or to Starbucks, depending on my mood.”

Jordan Furlong

Principal, Edge International
Senior Consultant, Stem Legal
Publisher, Law21

“‘An empty desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.’ In my case, the reverse is likely true.”

Heidi Alexander

Law Practice Management Adviser
Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program

“My desk setup on a non-profit budget: iMac computer with second Dell monitor (found in our storage room), iPad Air plus Zagg Slim Book Wireless Bluebook Keyboard and Folio, iPhone 5s (excited for my iPhone 6s to arrive) charging on the High Rise Twelve South dock, Apple Wireless Keyboard and Trackpad plus Graffiti Slim Pads for wrist cushioning, Plantronics headset with super old school phone, Fujitsu Scansnap S1300 (ready for an upgrade to the iX500), and Samsung printer (sufficient for my rare printing needs).”

Joseph A. Bahgat

Hubcity Law Group
Blogger, Internet on Trial

“This is/these are my desk(s). The main surface (with my MacBook Pro) is adjustable, and it’s usually raised all the way, but I lowered it to take this picture, to show things in context. To keep things clean, I always have a tray close by, and I keep anything that I’m working on in that tray unless I’m working on it at that exact moment. Keeping things in that pile helps me to stay focused on the current task. Other than that, I use two monitors, but since I switched to my current setup I only use the 27-inch monitor when I’m sitting. When I’m standing I feel like I don’t need it as much, because my MBPr is right at eye level.

What do you have on your desk?

Snap a shot with your smartphone and send it over. We’d love to share.

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4 Responses to “What Do You Have on Your Desk?”

  1. Fred Kruck
    21 October 2015 at 7:26 am #

    I’m a fan of Jordan Furlong’s writing, but the quote — isn’t it backwards? I had learned it as “A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, so what does an empty desk tell you?”

    It’s always possible that I learned it backwards but I think Jordan has it reversed…or else I mis-understand his point (always possible!).

  2. Ron Seigneur
    21 October 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    I can benefit from a magnifying glass. I just got a stand up desk and love it! Otherwise too cluttered.

  3. john
    21 October 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    I understand that many of these desks were not lawyer’s desks but did anyone notice that almost all the computers were apple laptops. Are we seeing a big shift from Microsoft to Apple?

  4. Jordan Furlong
    22 October 2015 at 9:03 am #

    @Fred — Actually, it was just me making a joke at my own expense. My cluttered desk is surely a sign of my empty mind. 🙂