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I don't know about you, but when I'm waiting for the airplane to get going, I reach into the seat-back pocket for the one thing that I know will always be there. The SkyMall catalog, I know, will provide at least a few minutes of amusement, from its $100 "designer litter box enclosure" (placed in the living room, for some reason) to its $150 "French wine barrel side table."
OK, kidding aside, there are actually a few good things in the SkyMall catalog that a law firm associate or solo practitioner might find useful. We decided to brave the personalized coasters and comically oversized travel pillow to find out.
Here are seven not-so-bad SkyMall gift ideas for lawyers:
1. Old English Case.
Like that contestant from Season 5 of "Project Runway," I love leather. I especially love it in the form of a briefcase. SkyMall's old-timey-looking leather case has plenty of room and looks like you just walked out of Abraham Lincoln's law firm. At $425, this actually isn't as monstrously overpriced as some of SkyMall's other offerings; that's about what you'd pay for a high-quality leather bag from a reputable craftsman.
2. Adjustable Height Standing/Sitting Desk.
So hot right now. Standing desks are better for your posture and your blood flow than just sitting down all day. After an old boss of mine had back surgery, he used a standing desk all the time. But even better is the ability to switch between sitting and standing. While this contraption just moves the desk surface up and down, its $350 price tag is way cheaper than a full-on up-and-down desk.
3. iPad Mini Keyboard Case.
Sure, no one needs a tablet, but if you have an iPad, you can get a lot more accomplished if you have a keyboard. This iPad case comes with one, meaning you can actually type stuff instead of playing Words with Friends.
4. Executive Stylus Pen.
It's a fancy pen! No, wait; it's a stylus for your tablet! It's probably clear by now that this pen is both. On the top is a silicone nub that you can use on your touchscreen device, whether it's a tablet, a phone, or one of those fold-y Windows 8 laptops.
5. Speaker With Cradle.
If you just need to blast Taylor Swift to get yourself psyched for brief-writing (and to remind yourself that haters, by their nature, will hate, and you should, consequently, "shake it off"), this speaker is actually pretty reasonably priced for the task.
6. Closet Organizing Trouser Rack.
If it's suits to work every day, this trouser rack looks to be a good way to save space for the many suits you've accumulated.
7. RFID-Blocking Passport Sleeve.
For the attorney who travels a lot, this passport sleeve is a good idea. In case you didn't know, U.S. passports have an RFID chip in them that's readable from much farther away than the FBI claims. A passport sleeve made of woven stainless steel fibers will prevent radio signals from getting to the chip inside the passport.