For a lot of millennial men, the briefcase has quietly evolved into the messenger bag, but this distinguished and practical accessory still has one loyal demographic. If you are a lawyer, the briefcase is one of your most permanent outfit accessories. Your briefcase shapes other people’s impressions of you, and that’s why it is important for you to choose the right one. It will be the indomitable workhorse of your professional attire, getting battered by travel and wear, so it needs to be made from quality materials. The best briefcase for lawyers could outlive even the most tenacious career.
The traditional lawyer briefcase is an expandable, leather calf-skin with a single, thick leather handle and metal (usually brass) hardware. But with modern production techniques and materials, comes a kaleidoscope of new and exciting iterations. We’ve put together a broad range for you from the uber traditional to more modern, including, shoulder strapped bags, two- and four-wheeled bags for the regularly traveling lawyers, and polyester materials.
The jury’s decision is final. These are the best briefcases for lawyers on the market right now.
1. Mack Weldon Ion Briefcase
Mack Weldon is one of our favorite brands for men. The company is best known for its super-comfortable shirts and basics, but the company just released a new briefcase as part of the Ion 2.0 Collection for Fall 2020. This modern briefcase is made from water-resistant industrial twill and comes with two padded compartments for documents and devices. Inside, you’ll find an incredible number of pockets and organizers for holding anything you could possibly need during the workday. This handsome bag is one of the best briefcases for lawyers starting their careers, and it’s a sophisticated alternative to your standard messenger bag or backpack.
2. Tom Ford Full-Grain Leather Briefcase
BEST DESIGNER BAG
This bag means business, and when people see you with it, they’ll know you do, too. While it doesn’t scream flash, a Tom Ford bag is a statement piece all the same. Crafted with premium full-grain leather, it’s a classic Tom Ford bag. This lawyer’s briefcase features polished gold-tone hardware and plenty of organizational pockets. For travel or everyday use, this bag is the ideal companion.
3. Samsonite Leather Expandable Business Case
You know the name Samsonite, and even if you don’t associate it with luxury or sophistication, you do associate it with dependable luggage that will last a lifetime. And while the best premium leather briefcases for men look more and more like large purses every year, this expandable business case looks like a classic briefcase — because that’s exactly what it is. This briefcase is crafted from genuine leather and comes with two carrying handles and a shoulder strap. There are enough pockets and compartments to hold everything you need throughout the day, and it’s designed to be stuffed to the brim with documents and folders.
4. McKlein, V Series, Reagan Attaché Briefcase
BEST AFFORDABLE HARD SHELL
Another fantastic option for those starting out is this hard-shell briefcase from McKlein. Featuring three-digit combination locks, a sturdy leather handle and the ability to sit upright at a 90-degree angle, this classic briefcase checks all the boxes at a surprisingly affordable price. Inside you’ll find various slips and pockets which allow you to further organize your work life, from pen holders and a phone pouch to larger pockets for laptops or notebooks. We love it for its functionality and organizational benefits, as well as that oh-so-satisfying click that happens when you input the combo and unlock the case. And for just over $100 more, you can even get your initials embossed into this beautiful bag.
5. BOSS Signature Collection Briefcase
This briefcase is sleek and discreet, but moreover, you can guarantee quality from the iconic German brand HUGO BOSS. They have taken the same uncompromising standards for style, materials and workmanship from their various departments and focused that into the leather goods market. For a lawyer traveling light, the eternal suitability of black calfskin leather, featherweight feel and simplistic design make it a perennially appropriate choice. Features include: two-way zip closure, top carry handles, exterior zip pocket and a shoulder strap.
6. Ted Baker Hooston Leather Document Bag
Stylish should never mean gaudy, and that much is true with this gorgeous leather bag from Ted Baker. Featuring a classic brown leather design, this document bag will set you apart from the pack, without looking ostentatious. We love it because it will not only match all of your suits but also add to them. What’s more, the setup is simple. You’ll find a single zippered pocket, a carrying handle and a shoulder strap. That’s it. No unnecessary pockets or lines cluttering up the facade. Beauty, simple and plain.
7. DUNHILL Cadogan Super Slim Document Case
If your legal career has been flourishing, firstly, we congratulate you, and secondly, it’s probably time to treat yourself to a briefcase that will last. Dunhill offers design at its most refined. This briefcase is constructed in Italy from richly textured leather, featuring subtle hardware accents and a two-way zippered closure. It is traditionalism at its most sincere and is an example of the phenomenally high standards this fashion house holds itself to.
8. Barbour Leather Briefcase
A briefcase with the flexibility of space is an amazing attribute for anyone lugging around hordes of paper at any time, as lawyers tend to do. Due to the design of this Barbour bag, which starts wide at the bottom and narrows towards the top, it will compress or decompress to match the contents inside. It comes in a wonderful burgundy tan color with brass hardware; a timeless combination. But also, it has the brand’s famous tartan lining inside making no mistake about its traditional heritage feel. It has two exterior front pockets, a back document pocket, and the large, flexible interior space.
9. Valextra Cross-Grain Leather Briefcase
BEST ITALIAN LEATHER
If the goal is to find a bag so beautiful it might bring a tear to your eye, you can safely end your search here. Meet Valextra’s Cross-Grain Leather Briefcase. An exclusive to Mr. Porter, this bag combines everything we love about briefcase style and quality. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Valextra has been around since 1937, steadily churning out quality leather goods all the way from Milano, Italy. The bag features a dual-gusset setup, which allows it to keep its handsome shape while expanding. Furthermore, you can easily fit a regular-sized laptop, along with all of your daily work essentials. But for us, it’s the fitted lock and key that set off this stylish and sleek-looking bag.
10. Killspencer x David Wiseman Fletcher Briefcase
Killspencer makes modern leather goods for the modern man, and we love this U.S. brand. The company is best known for its monogrammed leather and canvas bags, but this briefcase is a work of art. At $1,700 (add your initials for $25), this designer briefcase is not for the faint of heart. Crafted by hand with full-grain bull hide leather, this briefcase features a top handle designed from cast bronze and inlaid terrazzo. Interior pockets are sized for pens, documents, devices and business cards. There’s also a strap so that it can be worn cross-body like a messenger bag. This limited-edition briefcase will certainly make a statement, and the killer design makes this one of the best briefcases for lawyers, or anyone, we’ve come across.
11. BOSTANTEN Formal Leather Briefcase
BEST ENTRY LEVEL
This is perhaps the most standard offering in the list, but that is by no means an unfavorable thing to say. Lawyers are often required to dress somewhat conservatively, and this formal leather men’s bag is the perfect blend of style and function. It is all and everything a lawyer may need. It’s made of genuine black cow leather. This briefcase for lawyers comes with a shoulder strap and a main pocket that can hold up to a 14-inch laptop as well as any other documents you may have. We like the simple profile of the bag and the high-quality construction of the leather. And at such an affordable price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better bag when starting out your legal career.
12. Louis Vuitton Alex Briefcase
BEST FASHION HERITAGE CHOICE
The tendency for this famous luggage maker to plaster their brand name over their briefcases would normally push them into being too ostentatious for a lawyer. However, this chic and sleek offering is a masterclass in subtle styling. The interior boasts a fabric lining and a padded laptop pocket. On the exterior, there is a magnetic flap pocket and extra strengthening from a cowhide leather trim. For fans of this iconic fashion house, this leather document case is the best briefcase for lawyers at the height of their careers.
13. Mulberry Belgrave Leather Briefcase
The Belgrave full-grain leather briefcase from Mulberry screams sophistication. From the detailed embroidered edging to the simple silver accents on the two-way zipper, this bag is built to last. Plus, the briefcase isn’t going to scratch and ding because it’s made from durable, textured full-grain cow leather. The tan exterior color and matching carrying handles are the cherry on top of this relatively roomy briefcase.
14. Alvaro Arturo Leather-Trimmed Canvas Briefcase
Wait, a high-end briefcase can be made of something other than leather? Well, when it’s an Alvaro Canvas Briefcase, it can be. The sharp navy briefcase is made of a durable canvas material that’ll be able to handle your heavy workload. The bag features a slight touch of navy colored leather on the carrying handles and extra-long shoulder strap, so it’ll be easy to sling this from the courtroom to your commute.
15. Montblanc Meisterstuck Leather Briefcase
BEST BLACK BRIEFCASE
This sleek and simple briefcase is the perfect black brief. The slim bag is made in Italy and is crafted out of smooth cow leather. Even though the bag is thin, there is still plenty of storage with an interior zipped pocket and two slip pockets. Plus, the three interior pen holders and an extra padded sleeve will keep you organized, and the two-way zippers keep your things secure.
16. Tumi Aviano Slim Briefcase
Nylon isn’t a material you might consider when you search for the best briefcase for lawyers, but this Aviano Slim option from Tumi manages to make it work. Rich black leather on the trim, handles and front pocket nicely complements the durable nylon exterior. Inside, there are a few different compartments, including card slots and a pen loop, that will keep you highly organized, so you don’t have to go digging around for that business card in the dark. Let’s not forget to mention the padded laptop compartment that’ll keep your tech safe and secure.
17. Boconi ‘Byrant’ Briefcase
If this briefcase doesn’t elicit some sort of warm, fuzzy feeling inside you, we don’t know what briefcase will. Its symmetrical design complimented with supple Italian leather, the simple gold buckles and light contrast stitching make it a delight to behold. Boconi may sound Italian, but it’s as American as cherry pie — the name is an amalgam of Nashville residents, Bobby and Connie Williams. The slim design is perfect for those who travel to work light, or have done away with excessive paper use in favor of the cloud storage, or USB.
18. Aspinal Aerodrome Briefcase
BEST OLD-SCHOOL DESIGN
This ‘Aerodrome’ briefcase by the leather goods firm Aspinal is inspired by WWII design and looks phenomenal. It has been produced in collaboration with supermodel David Gandy and even has replica Spitfire Mk1 firing button metal lock closure. Inside, you will find a spacious central compartment with the capacity to store a 13-inch MacBook Air, a large zipped pocket and two open-top pouches for your devices ensuring you have plenty of room for your business essentials. This Italian calf-skin briefcase is steeped in heritage and tradition, proving that sometimes the old way is the best way.