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2013 holiday gift ideas for tech-savvy lawyers

Stacked3This week's Daily Record column is entitled "2013 holiday gift ideas for tech-savvy lawyers." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

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2013 holiday gift ideas for tech-savvy lawyers

It’s that time of the year again. Time to eat good food, spend quality time with loved ones and friends, and buy presents — lots and lots of presents.

So, what about the tech-savvy lawyer in your life? Are you wondering what to buy for him or her? Well wonder no more, because I’ve got plenty of suggestions for you right here in my annual gift guide for lawyers with a passion for technology and gadgets.*

No doubt your technology-loving lawyer already has a smartphone and a tablet, so I won’t waste your time discussing those this year.

But if the lawyer in your life is taking steps to move toward a paperless law office, here are a few apps to consider gifting that will make the process easier. First there are an assortment of note-taking apps, but some of the more popular ones include Evernote (free), Notability ($2.99) and Springpad (free).

For document creation, consider Apple’s iPages app ($9.99), Office² HD for Word docs($7.99) or Office 365 for iPhone (free). For PDF annotation and storage apps, take a look at Goodreader ($4.99), PDF Expert ($9.99), iAnnotate ($9.99) and ReaddleDocs (free). Finally, scanner apps are a must-have for the paperless law office and a few good choices include Scanner Pro ($2.99), GeniusScan (free) or TurboScan ($1.99).

Another important piece of the puzzle for the mobile lawyer is a light, but powerful laptop. The new Macbook Air is a great choice and has incredible battery life, but for a cheaper, albeit less powerful alternative, the new Chromebook is also worth considering.

Of course books always make great presents and lucky for you, there are a number of useful and interesting books that were released over the last year that would be ideal presents for any lawyer.

First there’s “The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis” by Andrew Harper, which offers an insightful, albeit depressing, look at our profession and the forces that have led us to the somewhat tenuous position that we find ourselves in today. Next, “Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers” by Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch is a step-by-step guide for lawyers interested in learning what features and functions are available in Gmail and Google Calendar, as well as related services such as Google Chat, Google Talk, Google Hangout and Call Phone.

And, last but not least, there’s “Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers” by Ernie Svenson, which teaches lawyers how to create, maintain and improve a legal blog, all the while developing new business relationships and opportunities.

And, if you’d like some holiday music with a legal theme to set the tone for your holidays, take a look at the holiday-themed albums offered at LawTunes.com.

Finally, if these suggestions aren’t enough for you, you can always check out The Billable Hour (thebillablehour.com), a website that offers unique gifts specifically tailored to lawyers and legal professionals.

* All of the suggestions above are based on my personal experience and preferences, but rest assured — I haven’t been compensated monetarily by any of the vendors for these recommendations, although in some cases I was provided with review copies of some of the products mentioned in this article.

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business Development and Community Relations at MyCase, an intuitive cloud-based law practice management platform for the modern law firm. She is also a GigaOM Pro Analyst and is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at niki@mycase.com.