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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all....

Over the recent college bowl season I had the fortunate luck of winning a substantial amount of bread. Since I am going to be starting law school in the fall I have decided to put a small portion of my earnings toward a decent bag/briefcase; one that will serve me not only during my time in school but also into what will hopefully be a substantial legal career..... a bag to grow with so to speak.

That said, I have narrowed my choice to these Swaine Adeney models:

1.


and

2.


So which do you think would better serve me and why?

I should also add that if I choose the wrap-around model I don't plan on using the shoulder strap, opting to carry it like a briefcase.

I would really love to hear from the law alums out there. Thanks for all your help.
 

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I think the first one is better looking, but that is mostly an aesthetic judgment.

I also like the looks of the Custom Hide offerings. One thing I wonder about, and maybe someone familiar with them can enlighten us, is whether, in either the Custom Hide or the Swaine wraparound bags, there is some way to undo the straps without unbuckling the buckles. I would think that having to unbuckle two buckles multiple times a day would be a huge inconvenience very quickly.

The other tip I'd give you is that nothing you're considering is likely to be especially helpful in law school. You're lugging thick, heavy casebooks, not case files, so it's hard to find a normal briefcase that will really accommodate them. I used to use a variety of bags, including the Bean canvas bag, to lug the books into school, park most stuff in my locker, and just carry my casebook and notebook to whatever class I was going to.

But that doesn't mean that a nice briefcase wouldn't be a good place to invest some of your winnings.
 

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I'm still a law student, but I have #2 tucked under my bed and ready to go. :)

Forum member RJman had some issues with #1, but I have no personal experience with that case. It looks amazing, though.

edit: I misread your question. I thought you were a lawyer. Go with a Filson case for now and go with the SAB after you get a job. Law school requires you to carry a TON of stuff and the Filson will hold up MUCH better for carrying a few casebooks, notebooks, and your laptop computer. Based on my experiences, the SAB is probably a little too formal for law school...most of my classmates use rolling backpacks or suitcases to carry books from class to class. Good luck in law school!!!
 

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I think the first one is better looking, but that is mostly an aesthetic judgment.

I also like the looks of the Custom Hide offerings. One thing I wonder about, and maybe someone familiar with them can enlighten us, is whether, in either the Custom Hide or the Swaine wraparound bags, there is some way to undo the straps without unbuckling the buckles. I would think that having to unbuckle two buckles multiple times a day would be a huge inconvenience very quickly.
I have this one: https://customhide.com/scholar_3_compartment.html. Not practical to carry law texts everyday (backpacks are much more useful), but I bring it to interviews. The buckles are just there to adjust the length of the straps and thus the capacity of the bag. There are quick release buckles hidden under the straps for when you just want to open the bag. I believe the Swaine's buckles actually have to be undone fully to open it, which may provide a bit more structural integrity when carrying large loads, but the bag is so much heavier to begin with (it's bridle leather) that I don't know how much stuff you're going to want to cram in to it.
 

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Both bags are nice looking, but have different auras about them. One says, I'm casual, warm and friendly, while the other is quite formal, perhaps more stand-offish. Are you more casual or more formal? Do you want to affirm or change the persona you put forth?

Good-luck
asf

PS-Are your winnings a function of applying for some TARP funds??? Just kidding.
 

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I understand your desire for a bag you can grow in to, but I would echo other members comments. You'll be carrying a lot of books and a laptop, and a briefcase isnt all that practical. We made fun of the people with the "backpack wheels" but a backpack and laptop bag makes more sense.

Others may disagree, but a pricey briefcase, especially one without a lot of miles on it, may send the wrong message to your peers and potential employers.

That being said, #1 has less of a "briefcase" look, which may be a positive. I don't recall anyone showing up to class with an actual briefcase.

#2 is quite common in the Chicago legal community and is a classic. And I use a Filson when I'm not carrying much.
 

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ECF, I basically have both of those. I have the SAB wrap-around in the smaller version with the square buckle (London tan color). You may want to consider that one as well. It's a little more subtle and less ornate. Both are gorgeous, though. They're among the best looking cases in the business, imo.

I also have the top-frame under the 'Peal Co. for Brooks Brothers' label (made by SAB). This one is in Dark Havana.

Nobody seems to notice either so I wouldn't worry about standing out in an awkward way or sending the wrong message.

Both can carry a fair amount of stuff. My 17" laptop fits into both easily and I have plenty of room left over.

As far as looks, I am partial to the wrap-around but I still often find myself admiring the topframe as well. One thing I will say is that the topframe looks kind of funny when packed full whereas the wrap-around looks just as beautiful when full as when empty.

Also consider how often you will need to open and close the case during the day. The topframe wins out here since it opens and closes easlily with one click of the latch. The wrap-around has both straps and the latch to fasten and unfasten. However, I actually enjoy the extra time I get to spend with the wrap-around while opening and closing it. It gives me a longer moment of connection with perfection! You can also take off the belts and eliminate the need for fastening the straps which also gives the case a different look.

Oh, and take into account that only the wrap-around has the removeable shoulder strap if that matters (I haven't used mine yet... in fact, it's stored away).

I would suggest reading some of the reviews in these forums for additional info.

Good luck!
 

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I have the following bag from customhide and it is spectacular for the price. I have posted my views on another thread here, and it was when I got the bag ... I din't like it much then, but once I started using it, I have come to love it. It has held up very well, and I get compliments all the time. Also, customhide will work with you to do whatever modifications you want. Call them or send them an email and just ask whatever questions you have. Ther customer service is unbeatable.

This bag will tide you very well while being classy, and save you quite a bit too. You can buy the swaine adeney once you start practising ... I will get a SAB briefcase someday, but till then, this bag will most definitely do.
 

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I'd get a Filson for law school - you have to carry too much stuff to beat up an SAB bag with it.

I'd then get a Custom hide bag for practice, and if you like the straps, get one that has the hidden push-to-release buckles - fastening and usfastening staps all day would drive me nuts. Although I like the classic "olde skool" looks of a flap-over bag with straps, in my practice and experience, a top opening frame bag would be much easier to use.
 

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I like both, but I would buy #1. I like the straps. Seems more secure.

My wife gave me a beautiful customhide briefcase for christmas (though I can't get the pictures to load onto a post here) and I've been thoroughly tickled with it. If you haven't looked at their stuff you should give it shot. I'd buy the CH case and put the rest in gold bullion:icon_smile_wink:
 
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