The leather briefcase is an item of luggage that has been around for many years; businesspeople and professionals generally use it alike to carry important documents, papers or even today, as many do a laptop. The leather briefcase of today was originally derived from the flimsy "satchel" that was used by many back in the fourteenth century for carrying valued goods and monies. This satchel was named the budget, which came from the Latin word bulga that means leather bag.
There are three common types of briefcase, the portfolio which is a case without a handle and thus carried under the arm, these are often made from brown leather, the folio, this is identical to the portfolio but with a retractable handle, and lastly the attaché case. This is the case that is probably most commonly used today. It has a box-style design with 2 compartments which can perfectly house both a laptop and documents without either item being damaged.
The black leather briefcase is most commonly associated with lawyers as they would historically use them to carry their briefs to court, they are now however consistently used by professionals in all fields of work, and used by men and women alike. The metal framed and leather briefcases of today date back to around the 1850s and now come in a variety of different colors and sizes to suit anyone's needs. There are even attaché cases that can be purchased made from metals such as aluminum. These are generally used by people carrying large sums of money or extremely important documents, and are always fitted with combinations locks and are even on occasion attached to the person by handcuffs.
The modern day leather briefcases can vary hugely in price and design, some even come with snakeskin design! Nearly every designer label of today have at least one briefcase on their line, most will have both a male and female one, these can obviously fetch a very a very high premium and are thought of by many as a fashion accessory as the handbag and even suitcases can now be thought of in today's climate. They are still primarily carried by businessmen and women to carry important documents and files to and from the office and have over the years become synonymous with the business world and there is therefore very few that will be seen without one, particularly lawyers, judges and clerks.