The holidays are finally here! If you’re a pre-law or law student, you’re likely to receive the typical desk gavels, novelty mugs, or leather briefcases which never receive much use. Instead, whether you are doing the shopping or creating a wish list, aim for gifts that truly keep on giving – ones that will help with studying, budgeting, or reducing dependence on student loans. Here are just a few ideas.
1. Textbooks and Supplements: If you have your book list for next semester, create an Amazon Wish List (it’s like a gift registry) that family and friends can use to purchase books as gifts. Students will rely less on loans to make these purchases, reducing their debt in the future. My book Barrister on a Budget: Investing in Law School…without Breaking the Bank is a must for your list. This Amazon Bestseller offers advice to help students save money and set them up for financial success before, during and after law school. This book is guaranteed to be a gift that keeps giving.
2. Gift Cards: Gift cards for Amazon.com, coffee shops, grocery stores, and restaurants are great gifts that students can use throughout the semester and save a little dough.
3. Items for Studying: Law students sit for long periods of time reading and writing. A transportable lumbar support pad is a great way to make studying more comfortable and relieve lower back pain. Or, when study areas are noisy and distracting, noise cancellation headphones can help students stay in their study zone.
4. A New Suit: Early spring semester until summer break is interview season for law students. Help the student make a great first impression by outfitting them with a new suit, ties, or dress shirts. Choosing a traditional, solid color suit will allow the student to mix-and-match for multiple interviews.
5. Pay for Membership Dues: Bar associations, law fraternities, student law organizations, and maybe even gym memberships may require dues and other fees. Many of these memberships can create networks and open doors for future employment.
6. LSAT or Bar prep course registrations: These are two of the most important exams for pre-law and law students. These exam courses can cost a pretty penny, but are a great investment to help students ace the exam on the first try. Additionally, a deposit on most bar courses will give the student a locked in course price, possible early-registrant discounts, and free study materials for core classes.
7. Electronics: A helpful electronic is an eReader. Most textbooks and supplements are now available for eBook capable equipment. Most eBooks cost less than their printed counterpart and are easier to tote to class. If you're feeling generous, other electronics such as laptops or printers are extremely useful, too.
8. Stocking Stuffers: Pens, highlighters, and jump drives among other office supplies make awesome stocking stuffers and are heavily used throughout the semester. You’ll never see anyone more excited over sticky tabs and post-it notes than a law student!