My interest in the Satchel & Page Counselor was as a trial/courtroom bag. I already own the S&P 4-way briefcase, and Slim Mailbag, but I “needed” (read as wanted) something that could accommodate both court and casual. The 4-way is always at court and the Slim Mailbag is usually my “man bag” but because of the files sizes I wanted something larger.
A little context…I currently practice workers compensation law which means medical reports, deposition transcripts, supplemental reports, etc. Most areas of the law have been transitioning to paperless, but because of the amount and speed at which cases move when they are ready access to key documents is key. Sometimes a judge cannot access a file through the computer system; thus, paper remains relevant and essential, for now.
I have used briefcases from most of the major players in the leather game including: Filson, Saddleback Leather, Kendal & Hyde, Rustic Leather, Col. Littleton Leather and a few more smaller shops like Benny Bee Leather out of the UK. All quality leather bags that have their charm and their use. But, the best is always the one you instinctively grab on the way out the door.
Before the Counselor I used a Kendall & Hyde Medium Satchel that was simply too heavy four court use. I still own it and it gets used but not nearly as much as the Counselor. The satchel was the classic style with two buckles but empty it was heavy so loaded it felt like a workout. By contrast the Counselor’s design not only lends to its aesthetic but also to its function. It allows me to access files and properly divides them without ever risking my laptop which is protected in the middle section. The counselor for me is like the SUV of leather bags because of its versatility, function and aesthetic. It’s good for a weekend trip just as easily as it is for the courtroom.
Most attorneys use a TUMI, Timbuk2 or some variation of a black nylon briefcase or messenger and in some rare cases a backpack. After my first leather bag, I just can’t go back. So, this is my warning to anyone looking at purchasing. Once you realize how leather grows with you it’s a deeper bond than just another bag. Every scuff, every notch and every crease was earned through use; there are very few things that can make that claim.
As is pretty clear from this post I am a huge leather fan. Leather for me is personal. I had an accident December 2015 which required a bi-frontal craniotomy. My orbitals were cracked my nose was wrecked…a tough time. On my road to recovery one of the first scents I got back was my leather briefcase. Just recovering that scent alone made me hope I would recover others and over time I have…so yeah leather has a unique place in my heart.
My use of it has extended far beyond the courtroom mainly because of the bag’s versatility. It is handsome but in a classic design that goes well with a suit or jeans and a button up. The Counselor was designed as a business briefcase that can accommodate travel as well.
It’s made of full grain vegetable tanned leather stitched with #277 Polyester thread. Why should you care about the thread? If a leather bag is not properly stitched the seems rip and the cost of fixing properly is expensive (since less and less people do it) so its important to get it done right the first time. The dimensions are 12” (height) x 16.5” (width) x 5” (deep).
The leather is 6oz thickness but the bag is light for its since it has an inner cloth lining. The quality and weight ratio makes this the ideal.
Most, if not all of us, need a laptop for work. This bag not only accommodates files, but also protects a laptop in a unique manner. There is slit in the middle of the bag which serves to divide the compartments and give the bag two sides, but doubles as a laptop sleeve. I have, in a pinch just slipped my laptop in there without really worrying about it and no damages to report yet.
If you want it and can spring for it do so. This bag was provided by Satchel and Page for me to review, but I own a laundry list of their products (I won’t list them here in case my wife reads this review…love you honey). Look, its a beautiful piece and it will grow with you in business or as a travel bag. Quality is for life and this is quality.