Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, you know what that means: the holiday season is upon us! Ready or not, we’ve moved on from turkeys and cranberry sauce to the frenzied pave of the end-of-year holidays. It’s time to create holiday gift lists, check them once, check them twice, and then shop until you drop.
If you’re a small firm lawyer, you’re no doubt juggling the holiday rush with your plans to prepare your law firm for a successful 2020. If so, why not kill two birds with one stone? Consider adding a few items to your holiday gift list that will help you get your firm ready for the new year. That way you won’t feel guilty for requesting all those other frivolous, but fun, presents.
If you’re not sure where to start, then you’re in luck! Here are some of my top recommended gifts for the small firm lawyer this holiday season.
First, how about a book or two? If you find yourself struggling to understand your firm’s new Millennial hires, then here’s the book for you: “What Millennial Lawyers Want.” In it, author Susan Smith Blakely shares her thoughts on what makes this generation tick and how managing law firm partners can change their outlook and embrace the many qualities that make Millennial employees unique and valuable assets for law firms.
On the flip side, if you’re struggling to get your more seasoned lawyers on board with your firm’s latest technology purchases, make sure to invest in a copy of Technology Tips for Seniors, Volume 2.0, written by Ashley Hallene and Jeffrey M. Allen. In this book, senior lawyers will learn technology tips for the office, home, or road. This book includes a mobile device app guide and offers lots of other useful information that will help them improve their productivity by learning about, understanding, and using technology.
Similarly, if you’re seeking ways to innovate in your firm and stand out in today’s increasingly crowded legal marketplace, but are finding that some lawyers in your firm are resisting change, then “Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in the Law” is just what you need. In this book, author Michele DeStafano explains why the legal industry is in the midst of an unavoidable transformation. Then she explores why lawyers are so resistant to accepting this indisputable fact, and provides ideas to help law firm managers innovate in order to succeed in the new world order.
Another book to consider is “The 2019 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide,” written by Sharon D. Nelson, John W. Simek, and Michael C. Maschke. As you well know, lawyers are incredibly busy, and as a result finding time to learn about technology can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. That’s where this book comes in. It’s updated annually and helps small firm lawyers sort through technology options, ranging from hardware options to legal software tools.
Last but not least, if your law firm is seeking to harness and make use of all of its operational data, then “Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services” might be just what you need. This book is edited by Fastcase’s CEO, Ed Walters and tackles data analytics in law firms from all angles. There’s something for everyone in this book, so whether data analytics is relatively new concept for you or if you’re looking for a deep dive into the intricacies of analyzing and measuring legal data, you’ll find lots of useful information and food for thought in this book.
If you travel often for work, one must-have gadget is portable laptop stand. Ergonomics matter, and when you’re on the road, working with your laptop near eye level can make all the difference. For years, one of my favorite laptop stands has been the . It has three different settings, so you can view your laptop at multiple angles. It’s fairly lightweight at only 1.8 pounds, but as we all know a few pounds can make all the difference when you’re lugging around a laptop bag between flights.
That’s why I’ve added another portable and even lighter laptop stand to my mobile work tools arsenal: the recently released Moft laptop stand. It currently retails at $24.99. It weighs only 3 oz., is 1/9″ thick, and easily adheres to the bottom of your laptop. It offers two different height settings and is available in a number of colors.
Another useful device that also offers ergonomic benefits is a portable keyboard. My portable keyboard of choice is , which costs $99. This keyboard is a great option for traveling lawyers since it’s full-sized, lightweight, and very thin.
For an even more ergonomic travel setup consider abandoning your clunky mouse, and switching to a trackpad like Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2. It’s a bit pricey at $129, but it’s worth it. Because it’s so thin, lightweight, and small, it’s easy to travel with and takes up very little space in your laptop bag. And it puts much less of a strain on your wrist than a mouse, so there’s that benefit, too.
And last but not least, another keyboard to consider is on that was created just for lawyers: LegalBoard. This keyboard has built-in shortcuts and abbreviations for common phrases and words typically used by lawyers. The wired version has been around for a few years now, but good news! A wireless version was just announced, and you can preorder the wireless version for $85.
So no matter what your goals are for your firm in 2020, we’ve got you covered with this gift guide! Whether it’s books, devices, or gadgets, one way or another you’ll have all the tools you need to get you and your firm on the path to success in the upcoming year. But don’t stop there! Make sure to download one of our FREE guides, too, and you’ll be well on your way to streamlining your law firm and increasing profitability in the new year.