Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brian Tannebaum's Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide For (Real) Lawyers

Happy Holidays everyone, even those that hate everything I write as they read it from their Starbucks offices and parent's basements.

Here I have for you my last minute guide to great gifts for (real) lawyers. None have an Apple on them, and none will allow you to practice law on the couch. I am receiving no money (yet) from any sellers of these items, and cannot vouch for their quality. I make no warranties except to say that I believe all (real) lawyers will thank you for gifting one of these items to them.

[1] Shoelaces.

If you go to an office, or court, you probably (probably) wont be wearing the (Starbucks) flip-flops. Those that dress the part of a real lawyer know all too well the pain of pulling that lace tight just to see part of it remain in your hand as you wonder how you will now get to work on time.

Lawyers generally don't have an extra pair, and will thank you for thinking of their time-sensitive mornings preparing for battle.

[2] A copy of "Never Eat Alone."

Yeah, I know it's a few years old, but this is simply the best book I've ever read on developing relationships. Be warned - there is nothing about twitter or Facebook, or how to type your brains out on-line trying to build your career. This is about real relationships, with real people.

[3] Speaking of never eating alone...

Dinner. Take a referral source, colleague, friend to dinner, after the first of the year. People like to eat, and they like to eat for free. Don't be cheap either. Again, this only applies to real lawyers who get real cases and real clients from real people. No one wants to be taken to dinner to be sold snake oil, not that the social media lawyer mavens can afford to buy dinner anyway.

[4] A staple remover.

I can never find one in my office. I like the ones that look like letter openers, not the ones that look like the mouth of an alligator.

[5] A small refrigerator.

Best gift I ever received from my staff. The big one in the kitchen is nothing more than a theft magnet. Put a case of diet coke in the communal fridge, and 2 days later it's gone. Having one in your office sends the message "you people suck and you're not touching my shit."

[6] A wireless phone headset.

Why make your lawyer friend sit at her desk while yelling at clients and other lawyers when a wireless headset allows them to release stress by parading down the hall and getting some exercise? It also provides hours of entertainment for the staff.

[7] A Helicopter Tour.

Chances are your lawyer friend doesn't get out much, especially if they practice civil law. They're stuck in an office, not venturing from Starbucks to Starbucks throughout the day nursing that one cup of coffee. Let them see where they live, from somewhere else other than their windowless office.

[8] A double pack of "To Kill A Mockingbird," and "A Time To Kill" DVD's

Nothing says "my practice is meaningless" like a few hours watching real lawyers do real work. Send your Starbucks social media lawyer or BigLaw slave into a tizzy by making them watch these great movies.

[9] A copy of "Dust In The Wind," by Kansas.

No explanation there. Lawyers will understand.

[10] Legal Pads.

What better way to continue to practice law when the lights go out then through the old reliable legal pad? Needs no battery, no charging, no apps, no updates, no customer service people. Tell your lawyer friend there is hope when the Apple store is closed that their thoughts and analysis of a case can be captured.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark


shg said...

"Don't be cheap"? Hmmm.

Venkat said...

I can't ever get myself to read business books or networking books. But Keith Ferrazzi's book must be good.

This line made my sputter the coffee:

[No one wants to be taken to dinner to be sold snake oil].

Too funny.

The Namby Pamby said...

No. 10 is priceless

And I'm adding that to my Christmas list.

Jeena B. said...

Add pantyhose/trouser socks for the female (real) lawyers and we are all set.

Anonymous said...

A little late... but as a newly admitted attorney starting a solo: why would one ever yell at a client? Am I naive?