Friday, November 25, 2011

Gifts for law students and lawyers (Sequel)

Awhile ago, I wrote an entry entitled Christmas gifts for law students and lawyers.  I wrote the article simply as an aside for my site, and didn't think it would be that important since most people come to my website for general tips about the law rather than gift ideas.

Much to my surprise, it turns out that the article was so popular that it's now on the front page of Google for phrases like gifts for law students and perfect gifts for first year law students. As of the time of writing this entry, it is the number one Google result for Christmas gifts for law students.  A number of readers decided to take my suggestions for Christmas gifts, and I noticed that some even found my DVD choices helpful for choosing a Valentine's Day gift for their special shyster.
Since my article on Christmas gifts for law students and lawyers was so well-received, I thought I might take the time to write some more extensive entries on gifts that one might consider for their favorite law school student.  I will divide this into a few categories, including Books, Electronics, Movies, Office Supplies, and Study Materials.  The list borrows from my Christmas gifts for law students page, though it is greatly expanded.


Cicero's Defence Speeches --  Ancient Rome's Cicero was one of the great speakers of antiquity, and was also a lawyer. The Oxford University Press has compiled his speeches into a single book, which any law student or lawyer who enjoys good courtroom rhetoric ought to like. It's not uncommon to see courts including the Supreme Court of the United States quoting Cicero, or referring back to "Cicero's time." This makes his speeches of considerable importance to anybody who wants to have a greater understanding of what the courts refer to when they talk about Cicero. This is an English translation, so there is no need for the reader to know Latin.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America -- Every legal professional should have in their pocket a copy of the supreme law of the land to which all laws they enforce are subject, and from which all laws they enforce derive their authority. At a low price of $4.95 at the time of this blog entry, this pocket-sized gift is a winner for any person looking to put a smile on a law student's face.

The Federalist Papers -- This book contains the argument by the Founding Fathers for the very existence of the modern US political and legal system as we know it, written before Americans could even agree on what the Constitution ought to say. The authors are Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. These essays are routinely cited in constitutional cases, so it's a good idea for a law student to have a copy of them.


Eco-Drive Wrist Watch -- This is one of the few solar-powered wrist watches that also looks professional enough for the legal environment.  Most people have at one time or another run late or risked running late for an appointment when their watch's battery died.  This watch, which functions off of both sunlight or artificial light indoors, does not have that problem.  Aside from the fact that the watch is more reliable, it's also convenient that the owner doesn't have to find the right battery for a replacement when it dies.

HP Mini 110-1020NR 10.1-Inch Netbook -- A great, compact computer for law students to carry around with them.  They can bring their notes with them, or work on briefs, regardless of where they are.  Having a good computer which can easily be fit on one's lap wherever they may be can make those commutes for a law student more productive as they need not wait to get to their home or school in order to do their work, or they may simply want to visit a local coffee shop or restaurant and do their work in a comfortable environment.  This laptop includes a built-in wireless card and webcam to enable students to talk to their friends and family at a distance, or surf the Internet wherever there may be an available wireless connection.  A Netbook carrying case is available for under $25.


Below are some films relating to the legal professional.  I have enjoyed all of these, but I particularly recommend Anatomy of a Murder, Inherit the Wind, and Witness for the Prosecution.
12 Angry Men -- Great film starring Henry Fonda as the lone voice of dissent who helps to save an innocent accused.

Anatomy of a Murder -- Stars Jimmy Stewart as a small-town lawyer who helps a murder suspect with a unique defense.

Inherit the Wind -- Based on the Scopes Monkey Trial, this film stars Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly in one of the more controversial legal films of the 20th century.

Paths of Glory -- Kirk Douglas stars in this psychological drama about a French Army court martial.

Witness for the Prosecution -- One of the most comical lawyer characters of all time, Sir Wilfred, can be found in this film.  Highly recommended.


Executive Business Card Holder -- Every lawyer needs something to hold their business cards.  This card holder is sure to impress every time its owner pulls it out to hand out their card.

Lawyer Calendar for 2012 -- Lawyer jokes.  Need I say more?

Rolling Briefcase -- A common sight around law schools, courts, and law firms  everywhere now.  These briefcases are great for maintaining a professional appearance while still being able to lug heavy case files around.


Sum & Substance:  Torts  -- A good study guide for anybody who wants to study tort law.  Stephen Finz is great at incorporating humor into his lectures, making them enjoyable to listen to.

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