2014 Holiday Gift Guide for the Tech-Savvy Lawyer
Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again: It’s time to start buying gifts for the technology-loving lawyer in your life. But never fear, my holiday gift guide is here! Hopefully you’ll find a few new ideas to help you round out your holiday gift-giving list.
First, for the traveling lawyer in your life, consider buying a portable laptop stand. These devices raise laptops up to eye level, reducing both neck and eye strain. My favorite laptop stand is the Aidata LHA-3 LAPstand Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand, which currently retails for $35.65 on Amazon. This stand folds flat for storage, but when set up, its dimensions are 5”H x 12.5”W x 9.5”D. It’s incredibly easy to reassemble and disassemble and weighs in at only 1.8 pounds, which means that this stand is easily transportable and is worth its weight in gold when it comes to reducing neck pain and eye strain.
Another great gift for the tech-savvy but forgetful lawyer in your life is Tile (thetileapp.com). It’s a smartphone app (iOS and Android) with accompanying computerized tag that helps you keep track of and locate items like keys or a wallet. A single Tile costs $25 and four tiles cost $70. You simply attach the small, square, white tag onto your key chain or other item or slide it into your wallet and then, when seeking to locate an item simply pull up the app on your smartphone, turn it on and follow the Bluetooth signal emitted by the Tile. What was lost is now found!
Another great gift that offers loads of value is an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Prime costs just $99 and offers a ton of benefits — and new ones are being added all the time. With the membership you receive: free 2-day shipping on many Amazon items, access to free streaming movies and TV shows on Prime Video, ad-free unlimited access to lots of great Prime Music, unlimited photo storage, access to free books on your Kindle via the Kindle Owners Lending Library and a number of other great features. If you shop on Amazon even just occasionally, the free shipping alone pays for the cost of Prime membership.
And finally, what would a holiday gift list be without books? Here are a few suggestions for the young lawyers in your life.
First, there’s Gary Muldoon’s “The Education of a Lawyer,” which is targeted toward law students and young lawyers. This book provides a wealth of information about becoming the lawyer you want to be and covers all aspects of a legal career, starting with advice for aspiring and current law students and ending with advice about lawyering and life.
Next, there’s Jill Paperno’s book “Representing the Accused.” This book provides fledgling criminal defense lawyers with advice on just about every aspect of every stage of representing a criminal defendant. From discovery and subpoenas to cross-examination techniques and sentencing considerations, Jill provides invaluable tips and advice from the trenches throughout the book.
And last but not least, for young lawyers or for any lawyers who are considering hanging their shingles, there’s “Flying Solo, Fifth Edition: A Survival Guide for the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer,” by William Gibson. A newly updated edition of this book was published by the ABA this year and offers a comprehensive guide to establishing and maintaining a successful solo law practice. It includes a ton of practical information gathered from a wide range of contributors, including successful solo practitioners, law firm consultants, state and local bar practice management advisors, and law school professors.
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, intuitive web-based law practice management software 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 email@example.com.