Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Graduation Gifts

In the comments to my post yesterday, Melissa asked, "What would you recommend as a graduation gift (on a budget) for a fabulous girl just out of law school?"

And I really didn't know. I just got money for my law school graduation and given that we were facing a summer with no income, that was exactly what I wanted. I do kind of wish I had a thing or two to memorialize that occasion, though I suppose the diploma hanging in my office does a good job of that.

I think jewelry is always good. Whenever I travel I'll buy a unique, usually inexpensive (now that I think about it, it's always inexpensive) piece of jewelry to wear when I get back. And then every time someone compliments me on it I can remember where I got it or why I got it and it brings a smile to my face. The jewelry doesn't have to have anything to do with where you're traveling or the occasion itself, it's just a happy reminder on its own. This can be especially nice because I'm assuming your friend will be starting work soon and it's great to have some work-appropriate jewelry to jazz up simple work clothes. So a simple necklace with a bit of color or striking pendant could be a nice "oh thanks, a friend got me this for my graduation" gift.

If she's not a jewelry person, than maybe something for her office? (assuming she has a job of course) A nice picture frame or desk accessory helps personalize the space she'll be spending a lot of time in. Her office will probably provide some supplies but if it's like my office they're very basic and could definitely be improved. One thing I love is a set of bookends for my bookcase- the office supply ones were ugly, light black plastic and instead of those I now have a sturdy silver set holding up my old casebooks and new CLE materials. It doesn't sound exciting, but I appreciate those every day my books aren't falling over like they used to. I also have a snow globe with the Austin sky line that I love and I would really love to have one of Chicago to commemorate my law school days. Hmmm, that would be a good Christmas present, I need to get JP to read this blog...

The attorney next to me received a gorgeous, deep red leather laptop shoulder bag from her husband when she graduated and eight years later she still uses it. Given its quality and looks, I doubt that was a budget item, but it's another idea. If you don't care if it's a permanent memento, you could also do a gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure for her to pamper herself during or after the Bar. I would have greatly appreciated that one.

So those are my thoughts for someone on a budget. I'm sure there are better ones out there, so if anyone has given or received something they loved, chime in!

14 comments:

  1. I got a ton of stuff with the scales of justice on it, book ends, paper weights, which got kind of cutesy after a while. A starbucks gift card would be nice to it. They will use it while studying.

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  2. I am poor, poor, poor (volunteering for the summer? yes please!) but have a lot of graduations in my family this summer and am too old not to give anything... so I am giving gift certificates in small denominations to coffee shops and bookstores. A $10 check just seems ridiculous, and most recent graduates don't need trinkets (although books are almost as bad... but at least they can pick!), so it was the best I could think of on my small budget.

    Then again, when I graduate next year? I hope I get money. I don't care how small the denomination. ;)

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  3. My inlaws, in an uncharacteristic burst of gift-giving brilliance, got me a "bar studying emergencies" box- filled with my favorite gummy candies, trashy magazines, a book of sudoku puzzles, gum, pencils, highlighters, an eye mask, and (I thought this was hilarious) tiny bottles of booze, like you'd find in a hotel mini-bar. It was a really sweet gift, and I dipped into it all summer as I was stressed.

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  4. pseudostoops: I LOVE that idea! I'm totally going to steal it for my friends studying for the Bar this summer.

    and to A and jodifur: I like the giftcards for something little like coffee or maybe a movie. Even if they could technically shell out $10 of their own money, everyone loves shopping with "free" money and it might make them indulge at a time when they would otherwise go without. Good ideas!

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  5. Scheherazade6/2/09, 1:54 PM

    When I graduated, somebody I'd invited along to my graduation paid for my certificate to be framed in a lovely walnut frame. It's something I appreciate now!

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  6. im getting a blackberry from my parents..it was either that or a 2k tiffanys necklace and the blackberry seems more practical and professional since im starting the phd program and will need it as well for the research position ill have :)

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  7. A nice big bag that she can carry to work that fits all of her necessities is a great gift. I love to have a bag big enough for a small purse, umbrella, a few papers to bring home, and other assorted junk.

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  8. My dad gave me a nice pen that was engraved with my name, J.D. on the first line and the date I graduated on the second line. Similar to bookends, it's something to put in the office, a good momento ...and who doesn't love personalized stuff?
    My mom gave me a pair of earrings that will go well with my work wardrobe staple...black. I like the jewelry idea, but it can be tricky to pick out jewelry for other people.
    Of course money is an all-time favorite, but might seem weird if you don't want to give them a fairly substantial amount (in which case I think gift cards are perfect!)

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  9. I just graduated law school two weeks ago! Some of the best gifts I received were monogramed stationery (note cards, no one uses full sheets anymore), a monogrammed leather folio (from Levenger.com, which has nice stuff!) and gift cards for coffee places (and one from Godiva! Yum!) Also, a frame from Things Remembered with 2009 and my name on it which I'm sure will look nice in an office, and a gift certificate to Ann Taylor (suits, y'know...)

    Basically anything job-related made me feel really attorney-ish, which was nice! And the note cards will come in handy with all the network! network! networking! I'm going to have to do after the Bar in order to nail down some kind of employment!

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  10. A nice gift I received and appreciated as a law school grad was a nice business card holder, one you can pull out at events and feel stylish, but not too cutsie (ie: no butterflies). Many places will engrave the backs which adds a personal touch.

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  11. I have another recommendation to add! I just bought this book “Young Guns” for my son who just graduated from college. I got it on amazon.com but you can probably get it at any major bookstore. My son is SO LAZY but after he read this he realized what it takes to become successful. Now, he’s taking initiative, being proactive, and working his way up! I recommend this book :)

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  12. omg!thanks for the link to levinger.com!!!! professional presents! i love it1

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  13. Thank you so much! I know she's going to love whatever I choose. Now I only have to decide between the Bar Study Box, leather bag/folio, or a great necklace I recently found. Ah, decisions, decisions!

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  14. Keep it up nice blog! Your text is really appreciable!

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