Gift for a Law School Grad
May 17, 2005 7:26 PM   Subscribe

A friend is graduating law school on Saturday, I'd like to give him a gift to mark the occassion. My only qualifiers are that the cost not exceed $100 and the present not be something obvious, which is to say something that he might get from someone else or buy himself. I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
posted by boombot to Shopping (26 answers total)
A bowler hat. My son's cost about $50.
posted by Doohickie at 7:41 PM on May 17, 2005

(If he's not the bowler hat type, get him a certificate to a hat shop. Everyone needs an interesting hat.)
posted by Doohickie at 7:42 PM on May 17, 2005

After law school, I wish I took a vacation - after the bar. Perhaps a $100 travel certificate? Not perfect considering that is not a complete gift. Some way to relax... maybe there is a spa in-town he would enjoy?
posted by quam at 7:45 PM on May 17, 2005

Swanky Business card holder
posted by falconred at 7:47 PM on May 17, 2005

Digital voice recorder? Gift certificate for a tattoo parlor? Very nice bottle of booze?
posted by box at 7:50 PM on May 17, 2005

If your friend is a legislative nerd, the Encylopedia of the Supreme Court was just released and is in your price range.
posted by jessamyn at 7:54 PM on May 17, 2005

Linda Greenhouse's biography of Harry Blackmun is supposed to be fantastic. A lot cheaper than $100.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:05 PM on May 17, 2005

I second the business card case. That's a gift that your friend will need and use for years. I have the same one that falconred linked to. Although, I received it from my sister who never spends more than $25 on gifts. Here's a really nice one for $85 less (the personalized one in bronze or silver). Spend the rest on a second gift. I like the tattoo idea as well. Or, how about a massage certificate?
posted by Juicylicious at 8:15 PM on May 17, 2005

A bound copy of the USA PATRIOT act. Unfortunately Amazon appears to be out.
posted by krisjohn at 8:23 PM on May 17, 2005

A really nice umbrella?

A gift certificate to Brooks Brothers or similar?

Burberry scarf?
posted by elisabeth r at 8:35 PM on May 17, 2005

A business card case? Jeesh you people are boring. And Doohickie, you've posted that twice now and I'm still not sure if you're serious or not. Gifts depend on his taste, and whether or not you want to play up the new-lawyer thing, or the friend thing: tickets to a major league baseball game, a big concert (or small exclusive gig), tour of a winery and a bottle of their best, deluxe corkscrew (the Rabbit?), pair of nice wine glasses, barrister case, iPod Shuffle (for the commute and to make his life less linear and rational?), noise-blocking earphones, nice photo framed for his office (something vaguely neutral yet stylish), antique/kitshy lawyer stuff (books, memorabilia, attire, mugs, placemats, frames, etc.), Camper shoes to mix up the boring wardrobe, nice cool wristwatch, small leather bag to transport a change of clothes, cufflinks, a gym membership, DVD player, potted orchid for the office, hanging basket for his apartment, leather folio, or yeah, the business card case, I suppose.
posted by fionab at 8:43 PM on May 17, 2005

A swanky umbrella is always a welcome gift, but it will probably be at the bottom of your price range. I'd second a hat shop gift voucher, a good hat is a joy forever (don't try and choose a hat for him, the choice of hat is very personal and is something you should decide for yourself, and getting the proper size is important). Avoid bowlers unless you're in a comedy troupe or work in the city of london (and look sufficiently old fashioned) however.
posted by fvw at 8:46 PM on May 17, 2005

Nice pen? Look at the Moleskine thread. There are good/unusual pen suggestions buried there.
posted by Carbolic at 8:53 PM on May 17, 2005

Or, a cigar case (an example of the product rather a recommendation as to vendors) and a couple of nice cigars.
posted by Carbolic at 9:01 PM on May 17, 2005

i'm finishing my first year in t-minus 13 hours, so i'd recommend something involving alcohol. preferably lots of it.

but otherwise, i think a good pen is a superb idea!
posted by whatitis at 9:03 PM on May 17, 2005

How about something to help your friend get through studying for the bar? A gift certificate for a massage or a nice dinner out, or a series of pizza/chinese/other favorite delivery? fionab makes some good suggestions. The bar exam can be a pretty grueling experience, something that makes it less relentlessly stressful would likely be well received.

We don't know anything about your friend's personal style; I received beautiful montblanc pens and an expensive leather briefcase as gifts when I graduated from law school, and only very rarely do I use them. I'm not sure I'd recommend similar gifts.

This book would take one-tenth of your budget, but it may well be more useful to a budding attorney than the traditional graduation gifts.
posted by ambrosia at 9:28 PM on May 17, 2005

that's your son, doohickie? that's awesome!
posted by puke & cry at 9:52 PM on May 17, 2005

How about a one dollar bill, framed with something that says "My first retainer"...or something to that effect.
posted by achmorrison at 9:58 PM on May 17, 2005

achmorrison - that would be more suitable for passing the bar
posted by falconred at 10:59 PM on May 17, 2005

Out of curiousity, does he have a job yet? And, what type of firm (or area of law) does he want to work in?

I wouldn't get a Montblanc pen or a silver business card holder for a public defender. I wouldn't get a copy of the patriot act for a tax lawyer. I wouldn't get a bowler hat for anyone. If he works in a large firm, don't bother with the gag gifts. Most of the larger firms I've been in seem pretty serious, and the only things on the walls are diplomas.

When I graduate, I would appreciate liquor, cigars, the cigar case, or tickets to something cool. Your friend will probably spend the next two months studying full-time for the bar exam, so a little relaxation would be helpful.
posted by MrZero at 6:30 AM on May 18, 2005

My wife and I graduated three years ago from law school. My aunt bought us both engraved stuff and it is sitting in a box somewhere. Unless you KNOW the person's tastes, don't get them anything for their desk.

A good idea is a nice bottle of Dom Perignon or similar champagne. I bet you can get a newer bottle for under $100. Tell him to chill the bottle, and crack it open when he [finishes the bar exam // finds out he passed the bar exam // gets sworn in as a lawyer // finishes his first jury trial // wins his first case // gets sworn in as the next supreme court justice].

A friend celebrated with a bottle of Dom when he proposed to his girlfriend (now wife). It came in a nice box, and now the empty bottle/box are displayed on a shelf in their house. It looks cool and makes a nice story.

Good luck.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:14 AM on May 18, 2005

Law: A Treasury of Art and Literature

Law in America: An Illustrated Celebration

For Counsel is a store that sells "gifts for lawyers" and they do have some fairly interesting things -- you can get some nice scales of justice or a lovely Seated Justice Statue for under $100.
posted by anastasiav at 7:49 AM on May 18, 2005

How about some sort of spa/massage treatment? I would think it would be a great way to end such a stressful time.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:01 AM on May 18, 2005

Lawyers always drink single malt scotch. I think there must be a rule or something. Get him that.
posted by spilon at 8:30 AM on May 18, 2005

Lawyers do not always drink single malt scotch. Gah, stereotypes do not constitute reasonable answers.

You know your friend's tastes, presumably, or you wouldn't be looking to drop a hundred on him. Get him something useful that he will specifically appreciate because it's a reflection of your friendship and your congratulations and pride in his accomplishment. Generic "yay law school" gifts are for generic people.
posted by Dreama at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2005

that's your son, doohickie? that's awesome!
Yep. That's his high school senior picture.

posted by Doohickie at 6:08 PM on May 18, 2005

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