Monday, October 23, 2017

Legal Holiday Gift Guide

Get the drop on your holiday shopping this year with the Goodson Blogson's 2017 roundup of legal-themed gifts for the lawyers and law students in your life. (Be on the lookout for other lawyer gift recommendations from attorney Reid Trautz's Reid My Blog, whose annual gift guide has been providing great suggestions for more than a decade.)

Many legal thinkers on your holiday list would appreciate a gift subscription to The Green Bag: An Entertaining Journal of Law. This quarterly periodical is well-known for its tongue-in-cheek humor, and for its popular U.S. Supreme Court Justice bobbleheads. The limited-edition bobbleheads are hot commodities at PILF Auctions and an online secondary market – but lucky random subscribers might receive a redemption certificate along with an issue. The "Extravagant" subscription option (only $20/year more than the Basic subscription) promises four other (non-bobblehead) "surprises" per year (see past examples). Both Basic and Extravagant subscribers will receive a copy of the annual Green Bag Almanac and Reader along with their four issues.

For the future lawyers (and/or expectant parents) on your gift list, check out Etsy artist dirtsastudio's baby bibs inspired by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famous jabots. These bibs are available in RBG's favorite white lace or gold "dissent" collars, and can be purchased as a two-pack set. The artist notes that due to overwhelming demand, orders currently take at least one week to process (a backlog that is likely to increase closer to the holidays), so be sure to plan ahead for your would-be "Ruth Baby Ginsburg."

Is there a foodie on your giving list? Consider a law-themed cookbook! We've previously covered the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society's Chef Supreme: Martin Ginsburg, filled with sophisticated recipes by (and loving personal memories of) the late Martin Ginsburg, renowned tax law professor and husband of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg. But a litigator might prefer The Vespers' Trial Cookbook: Italiano Cucina Rustica with Trial Tips for Lawyers, by "the Cookin’ Cousins" Thomas and Dominic Vesper. This unique title is equal parts trial practice handbook and Italian family cookbook, as the cousins (Tom a trial attorney; Dom a retired accountant with a passion for home cooking) share tried-and-true “recipes for success” in both the kitchen and the courtroom. (For non-legal cookbook recommendations, J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats presents one favorite cookbook each day during the month of October on his personal blog. López-Alt’s own cookbook, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, is another great choice.)

If your law student or lawyer is too busy to cook as much as they’d like, consider a gift subscription to meal services like HelloFresh or Blue Apron. If your recipient lives in a Peapod grocery delivery service area, gift cards are available. You could also enhance your loved one's cooking with a gift box subscription to Try the World, which curates an assortment of gourmet goodies from a different country every month. (A smaller international "snack box" monthly assortment, perfect for hungry law students, is also available.)

You can also easily stock someone's kitchen with law-themed housewares. Uncommon Goods offers a "Disappearing Civil Liberties" coffee mug, whose Bill of Rights reprint partially disappears when hot liquid is poured into it. Uncommon Goods also includes a set of four marble Democracy Coasters, reproducing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Civil Rights Act. Perhaps those coasters could protect a table from the set of four old-fashioned glasses etched with the U.S. Supreme Court’s seal?

As finals approach, the law students you know might welcome a set of noise-canceling headphones. This summer, Consumer Reports reviewed several of the biggest name brands. Its rating guide is behind a paywall, but Duke University community members can access it on LexisNexis Academic. (Subscribers to Lexis Advance can also view the rating chart here.) White noise machines might also make a thoughtful gift for law students or attorneys who are disturbed by too much ambient noise. See a March 2017 comparison of six white noise machine brands by The Sweethome.

Federal museum and monument gift shops are a perennial favorite for locating other law-themed gifts. The U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop continues to stock an assortment of Court- and law-themed household items, books, and office accessories. Likewise, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society catalog offers legislative-themed accessories, including stationery and desk accessories for your favorite lawyer’s office. Most presidential libraries and federal monuments also feature a gift shop.

Shopping for a fashionista? The Capitol Historical Society catalog provides a well-stocked section of Scarves, Totes, and Umbrellas – including a lovely wearable reproduction of the Apotheosis in the Capitol rotunda, or a wraparound scarf of the Constitution's text, available in two colors. Creative jewelry is also available at the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop and in the National Archives' authentic government red tape collection.

Finally, don't forget the many locally-owned and operated businesses in your area, or in your recipient's. Most restaurants and shops will offer gift certificates or cards; many boutiques and shops will offer unique gifts. The map for Small Business Saturday, a post-Thanksgiving local shopping promotion created by American Express, can be a good starting place for identifying local retailers to support during the holiday shopping season.

Have fun finding the perfect law-themed gift for everyone on your holiday giving list!