We enter another season of giving. Every December you count on a fun, light-hearted article filled with technology and everyday gift ideas. The tradition continues this year, with a request to consider supporting local businesses1 and nonprofits2 that are dealing with the financial effects of COVID-19. Gifts, words of encouragement, and volunteerism will help stem the tide created by the pandemic. We hope you have a wonderful 2021 and enjoy our gift ideas.
ASTRO A10 Headset
If you are spending significant time in virtual meetings,3 consider upgrading your headset. I prefer this model because of its relatively low price in comparison to other headphones, the flip-to-mute-microphone function, and the fact I can have the headset on for hours during meetings and not feel any discomfort.
Logitech MK295 Silent Wireless Combo
Promising to cut out over 90 percent of keyboard and mouse noise,4 this wireless keyboard and wireless mouse combo comes in at a great price. Using a wireless combo can be more efficient than using a built-in keyboard and mouse on your laptop. An average battery life of 36 months for the keyboard and 18 months for the mouse means you will not have to worry about changing your batteries often.
3M Anti-Glare Filter for 14” Widescreen Laptop
If you are working from home and other people can see your screen, purchasing a privacy screen will help you protect confidential information. The anti-glare filter and optional sizes promise to fit most laptop screens.5 The screen is easy to apply and remove. If you do not have a laptop screen, you also can find monitor privacy screens from the same manufacturer.
RIF6 Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Easily switch between sitting or standing with RIF6’s convertible desk.6 I’ve never been a fan of standing desks, but I have colleagues who prefer standing throughout the day. Apparently, standing breaks up the monotony of working from home every day and provides some back relief. Try this desk converter for yourself, but check the return policy.
Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender
If you have to travel to outlying areas in your house for privacy during video calls and have poor Wi-Fi reception, then this gift is perfect for you. Plug the AC2600 into an area of the house that is within range of your Wi-Fi router, and the hardware will redistribute the signal to the new area at fast speeds.7 It’s almost like having two separate Wi-Fi routers in your residence.
Apple Watch Series 6
Every year you’ll likely see a new version of this watch,8 given Apple’s continuing commitment to developing and advancing their product lines. In addition to the standard Apple Watch characteristics, the Series 6 watch delivers faster charging, a blood-oxygen sensor, longer battery life for some workouts, and an enhanced processor.
Christopher C. Shattuck, Univ. of La Verne College of Law 2009, M.B.A. U.W.-Oshkosh 2015, is manager of Practice411™, the State Bar’s law practice assistance program. If you have questions about the business aspects of your practice, call (800) 957-4670.
Alternative: The FitBit Versa 3 Smartwatch is more expensive ($229.95) than the FitBit Versa 2 from last year and offers faster battery charging.9 Versa 3 still does not have an LTE (long term evolution) but has made other improvements to the size and resolution of the touchscreen. Less expensive than the Apple Watch and offering many of the same features, the FitBit Versa 3 remains a good alternative.
Oculus Quest 2
Powered by your Facebook account, this virtual-reality gaming set comes with a headset, two touch controllers, and other accessories.10 When paired with a quality headset, it provides an even better experience. There are several games to choose from in the game library, and you’ll be sure to get a good workout (and sometimes, a good scare).
Tile Holiday Luxe Pro 1-Pack
Never lose your briefcase or purse again with Tile.11 You simply attach Tile to an item, and you can ring the Tile if it is nearby. If you are not near the item, Tile will tell you where it was last seen. If you cannot find your Tile, every other phone on the Tile network can help you anonymously find the lost item.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
This gift could fit into multiple categories on this year’s list. If you are working from home and need to drown out background noise, select the noise-cancelling feature, included in the 11 different sound settings.12 There is a built-in microphone and reliable connectivity. The battery lasts up to 20 hours per charge, making the headphones a good accessory when you feel comfortable traveling again.
Alternative: Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-cancelling headphones are a great alternative for $279.99.13 These headphones boast a battery life lasting up to 30 hours per charge and a built-in voice assistant and can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at the same time. Frequently appearing on reviews of top noise-cancelling headphones, these headphones are a purchase you will not regret.
Smart Workout Equipment
Backslash Fit Smart Yoga Mat
Pair your Smart Yoga Mat14 with a smart speaker to hear yoga routines. You will enjoy the spacious (24 x 72 inches), latex-free mat that actually improves its hold as you get further into your workout. After you are finished with your exercise, click a button to enable the self-rolling feature.
Smart Jump Rope15 syncs your jump rope counts with its mobile fitness platform. You can track rewards and even challenge other people to friendly competition. Battery life will last up to 30 days on a single charge, which is impressive considering the 23 LEDs that display your workout data. Plus, this jump rope looks much cooler than the average jump rope.
JAXJOX KettlebellConnect® 2.0
Easily adjust your Smart Kettlebell16 in 6-pound increments from 12 to 42 pounds. JAXJOX’s proprietary design uses machine learning to calculate your fitness scores through its app. You can also sign up for live or on-demand personal training sessions. This is a great investment for kettlebell enthusiasts.
If you are looking for a total gym experience, consider Tonal’s smart home gym.17 Built-in personal training routines18 allow you to exercise specific muscle groups. This product is perfect for people trying to avoid gyms and health clubs during the pandemic. Consider adding the smart accessories pack19 for an additional $495.
Gifts $50 and Under
Custom Face Socks
What’s better than sending your face on a pair of socks to your friend or significant other? With My Face Socks,20 you can upload your photo, choose additional graphics, and select from over 400 designs. In my opinion, the louder the socks, the better!
Google Nest Mini
Give the gift of Google this year with a mini home speaker.21 Ask your device questions for Google to answer or to play music or announce your schedule for the day. Pair two speakers to get double the sound or coverage in your home. This is a great present for people who spend a lot of time on the phone and like to walk around while talking.
Homesick Scented Candles
This item appeared on a few different lists of holiday gift ideas, so it must be great, right? Shop from an assortment of scented candles that will take you back to places you once visited. You can choose from scents inspired by cities, states, and other memorable locations.22
Primula Burke Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
Cold brew is a must for some coffee aficionados. For others, it’s a nice alternative to hot coffee in the morning. This coffee maker is easy to set up and dishwasher safe and can brew up to six cups.23 If cold coffee doesn’t fill your mug, you can use the coffee maker to make tea, instead.
Anker 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger
I have a similar 4-port wall charger and love it! Instead of competing with family members about which device to charge, you can plug and charge up to 4 USB-connected devices.24 The only thing you’ll regret after purchasing this product is the extra charging cords you’ll need to purchase to simultaneously charge your devices.
Cite to 93. Wis. Law. 61-63 (December 2020).
State Bar of Wisconsin Programs to Help Your Community and Colleagues
Wisconsin Pro Bono Opportunity Portal
Lawyers have specialized skills and an exclusive license to help people resolve their legal issues. When you want to volunteer and give back, but need help finding the right way or the right opportunity to put your talents to work, visit the Wisconsin Pro Bono Opportunity Portal.
The centralized portal makes it easier for legal services organizations statewide to share their pro bono opportunities with lawyers and law students. You can browse and sort the listed opportunities to find ones that fit your skills, interests, and level of commitment.Visit wisbar.org/probonoportal to navigate this brand new platform.
Wisconsin Free Legal Answers
Have you ever wanted to give back to your community and provide legal advice or services on a pro bono basis, but felt like you didn’t have the time? Wisconsin Free Legal Answers solves that problem by allowing State Bar of Wisconsin members to log on any time and answer civil legal questions from low-income individuals. State Bar members can volunteer to answer questions by completing the attorney agreement.Visit https://wi.freelegalanswers.org/ to find additional information regarding professional liability coverage, conflicts, and the attorney-client relationship and to sign up.
Wisconsin Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory
Are you willing to help answers questions from other attorneys in your areas of practice? Consider joining the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory. To be listed in this free directory, you must be an active member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, have experience in a particular field of law, and be willing to conduct brief consultations by email or telephone (roughly 10 minutes in length), free of charge, with other lawyers having less experience in that area of practice. Visit wisbar.org/LawyerToLawyer to sign up.
Meet Our Contributors
How did you find your way to your current position?
In 2017, I was in private practice and managing a department in a creditors’ rights firm in Milwaukee. I had recently completed my MBA and was searching for a position that would allow me to use my combined business and law degrees, along with my experience, to make a meaningful impact in the legal profession. Upon discovering the job opening seeking a law practice assistance manager for the State Bar of Wisconsin, I immediately applied. I was fortunate to receive an offer and have been working for the State Bar of Wisconsin since November 2017.
I truly appreciate the opportunity to provide confidential consultations to law firms, speak at continuing legal education programs, publish articles, and expand partnerships with organizations such as the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and local bar associations. If you have any practice management questions, feel free to call Practice411™ at (800) 957-4670 for a confidential consultation.
Christopher C. Shattuck, State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison.
Become a contributor! Are you working on an interesting case? Have a practice tip to share? There are several ways to contribute to Wisconsin Lawyer. To discuss a topic idea, contact Managing Editor Karlé Lester at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6127, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our writing and submission guidelines.
1 See Christopher C. Shattuck, Holiday Shopping: 23 Gift Ideas, Wis. Law. (Dec. 2019).
2 See Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn & Laura Daily, How You Can Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak, Wash. Post (June 12, 2020).
18 Tonal requires a 12-month commitment (price $49 per month) upon activation.
19 Includes smart handles, smart bar, rope, bench, mat, and roller.