Being fortunate enough to work for a firm that gives paralegals their own offices, I have 4 walls to fill with my own stuff. My office has limited possibilities, though, being crammed with filing cabinets and shelves, all overflowing. It’s amusing to note how different practice groups have particular trends in their decorating styles, at least in my firm…
Litigation - War and Sports memorabilia. Not surprising for highly competitive "winner" types. IP – Scientific brick-a-brack and foreign travel. Most IP lawyers were scientists before they went to law school, plus they seem to do a lot more traveling than other practice groups. Bankruptcy – utilitarian, almost sparse, barely more than a few family photos and diplomas. Contracts/Transactional – Lots and lots of law-related things. Maybe trying to subconsciously convince themselves they are real lawyers.
There’s a difference between levels of the hierarchy, too. Partners have high-end, “look how rich I am” things prominently on display. Senior Associates lean in that direction, but can’t quite pull it off in smaller offices and without the Partner-level income. Junior Associates have very little, mostly because they are still paying off loans, plus they don’t want to have much stuff to carry out when they get canned. Paralegals go for personal items, turning their space into a second home (because it really is).
It’s also shocking how many books we still have lingering about, even though most everything is on the inter-web these days. I’m still at a loss why we need a law library. The only real purpose it serves is as a good place to hide, since nobody ever goes there.