Friday, November 12, 2021

Legal Holiday Gift Guide 2021

First, the not-so-nice news: with continued disruptions to both the global supply chain and the postal service, holiday shopping will present additional challenges this year. Experts recommend advance planning, especially for expected shipping delays. However, there's still time to find a great holiday gift! Since 2009, the Goodson Blogson has scoured the internet to find gift ideas that are suitable for the law students and lawyers in your life.

Judging by the consistent demand for the library’s sit-stand desks, many law students (and, presumably, lawyers) might also enjoy a similar setup in their home office spaces. If you'd like a copycat model, our sit-stands are the UPLIFT Standing Desk (48" x 30" desktop) with ash gray laminate. However, these desktops can also be customized in about 20 different styles, including a whiteboard laminate.

Book stands are another thoughtful gift, although law students will need a larger version to accommodate their heavy casebooks. Check out Book Riot's 2020 guide 12 Worthy Big Book Holders for Textbooks and Other Large Books for some stylish ideas.

If you know a pre-law or new law student, they might also appreciate a multi-year Bluebook Online gift subscription, which provides access to the online version of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation and allows students to annotate their highly-used citation rules.

Mechanical keyboards have gained a large following in the gaming community for their speed and durability. Switches underneath each key make typing a more tactile (and, it should be noted, noisier) experience, and each board can be customized in myriad ways, including colored keys and backlighting. Wirecutter recommends several of The Best Mechanical Keyboards.

For a more traditional and law-themed keyboard, there's also LegalBoard, which includes specialized keys and functions for inserting the common legal writing symbols like §, ¶, em and en dashes, and frequently-used citation signals, among other tasks. The new wireless version is now available for pre-order, and the classic keyboard as well as a travel-sized LegalPad are also available.

Although the pandemic feels far from over, business and leisure travel is on the upswing. If your recipient has fly-back interviews or business trips in their future, perhaps they’d appreciate a Cadence magnetic honeycomb for TSA-approved quantities of toiletries. A "Build Your 6" bundle is currently available with a $14 discount and several color choices.

Another gift suitable for both travel and study is a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. CNET provides a range of options with detailed reviews; the NYTimes Wirecutter blog provides a similar list. Sound machines (a.k.a. white noise machines) may be another welcome gift at a lower price point than headphones; Wired writes up six recommended options.

For the lawyer with an impressive home or office library, bookshelf insert dioramas are another fun gift. Etsy offers a variety of options to nestle between tomes. Sci-fi and fantasy scenes dominate the landscape, but other options include a Parisian café, quaint alleyways, and even Sherlock Holmes. No courtroom scenes that we could find (objection!), but DIY kits are also available for those who wish to build their own book nook scenes.

And OK, maybe the library is a little biased, but we think books make great gifts, too. Titles on law, U.S. history, or writing references may be especially thoughtful gifts for your legal eagle. While you may find faster shipping at other retailers, consider supporting your local independent retailer or, which shares allows profits from your order with a specific independent bookstore, or an earnings pool that is distributed to independent bookstores around the country. Some recent titles that may fit the bill include: Nikole Hannah-Jones's forthcoming The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's final book, Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life's Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, and Fred Shapiro's reference work The New Yale Book of Quotations, updated this summer with more than a thousand new entries.

Finally, an annual reminder to support local vendors as well as online retailers for your holiday shopping. Many small businesses and restaurants are still struggling to stay afloat from the pandemic, and your gift cards and purchases will likely go a long way. Some local Durham retailers can be found on the Sustain-a-Bull website, and more can be located in the INDYweek Best of the Triangle listings

As always, the Goodson Blogson HQ wishes you a safe and happy holiday season -- and one where everything arrives on time!