Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Legal Holiday Gift Guide 2019

It's that time of year again! Since 2009, the Goodson Blogson has proudly provided an almost-annual roundup of law-themed gift ideas for the lawyers and law students in your life. Entries for previous years in this series (minus 2012, when we somehow forgot) can be found in the blog archives.

Does your workaholic loved one need a little help with unplugging? Maybe work and/or school schedules don't leave much time for long vacations or travel planning. Consider giving a gift code to the "surprise travel agency" Pack Up & Go, which plans 3-day plane, train, or road trips around the United States whose final destinations are kept secret until the day of travel. Travelers complete a brief planning survey to gauge their interests, and the agency develops a suitable itinerary, advising travelers of necessary information like the weather forecast and any special items to pack. Travelers receive their itinerary via mail and email shortly before their departure.

Even if a spontaneous vacation isn't your recipient's cup of tea, all lawyers and law students could probably use a luggage upgrade for interviews, business travel, or wherever else they may be roaming. Earlier this year, Travel & Leisure profiled The Best Luggage Brands for Every Budget, providing affordable and high-end options for a new suitcase or carry-on. Don't forget about must-have travel accessories, like portable chargers, power adapters, packing cubes, and organizers; The Inventory rounded up suggestions to Make Travel Suck Less with These Seven Gadgets and Accessories.

Shopping for a public defender, privacy rights advocate, or star Crim Law student? Adversarial Fashion features clothing that is designed to trigger and confuse license-plate surveillance systems. The site includes shirts, skirts, and dresses with several styles, including the text of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution rendered in license plates. For less, well, adversarial fashion gift options, Stitch Fix offers gift cards to its personal-stylist-by-mail service, as does Nordstrom's Trunk Club service.

We’ve spruced up your loved one's travel and clothing, so maybe it's time to redecorate their office or living space. We've previously written about (and remain fans of) the National Archives gift shop's Patent Prints. But if intellectual property isn't your recipient's specialty, how about some artwork that celebrates…dare we say it…legal writing? Punctuated Law Designs, a project by UVA Law professor (and Duke University alumnus) Joe Fore, offers unique prints that present court opinions and other law documents solely through their punctuation marks. Several pre-selected opinions (Loving v. Virginia, Palsgraf) are available; custom orders (perhaps for a litigator friend's proudest victory in court?) are also available with a 3-week turnaround time.

Other adornments for office space include the various bookends, paperweights, and organizers at Uncommon Goods' Office section. Fancy pens are a thoughtful office upgrade – the Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop offers a few options, and the National Archives store even more. You can also remind a faraway loved one where they came from with a Custom Map and Pen Desk Set, featuring a map from their hometown, law school, or other noteworthy location in their life.

There's a new legal board game in town, more than a decade after the debut of Tina Nelson's Lawsuit! (previously featured in the Blogson gift guide). Chicago-based criminal defense attorney April Preyar created Trials & Triumph, featured this summer in the ABA Journal, to educate young people about the criminal justice system. Her Indiegogo page includes options to purchase copies of the game as well as packages that include both the game and a t-shirt reading "SHUT UP. LAWYER UP." A percentage of all sales will benefit Chicago's Westside Justice Center.

For a different sort of game night, Drinkin' with Lincoln is a decidedly more adult-oriented set, featuring five presidential-themed drinking games and two Honest Abe shot glasses. More legally-themed barware can be found at the National Archives Store Happy Hour section, including a Hamilton-Burr duel shot glass set and a print of the 1974 "Cocktail Construction" chart designed by a Forest Service engineer.

Elsewhere in the kitchen, the law-themed cookbook market continues its unexpected expansion. The Blogson gift guide has previously covered the late, great Marty Ginsburg's Chef Supreme and Clare Cushman's Table for 9, both worthy offerings for a legal gourmand from the Supreme Court Historical Society gift shop. This year's entry comes from the White House Historical Association, which has published Roland Mesnier's Creating the Sweet World of White House Desserts: A Pastry Chef’s Secrets.

Finally, please remember to support your local businesses this holiday season. Yesterday's announcement that Chapel Hill gourmet grocery Southern Season will close its doors in 2020 after 45 years in business is an important reminder to seek out and patronize local retailers in your community. In the Triangle, a few local sources for eclectic gifts include the Durham Craft Market at the downtown farmer's market, Morgan Imports at Brightleaf Square, and Ali Cat Toys in Carrboro's Carr Mill Mall.

As always, the Goodson Blogson wishes all of our readers a happy and healthy holiday season. We hope this year's gift recommendations have inspired you to spread some legally-minded holiday cheer.