For many years briefcases have been used by professionals
Briefcases originally come in three types. There is the portfolio which is basically a case without a handle. It is usually done in leather (as most briefcases are). There is also the folio which looks like the portfolio with a retractable handle. The third is the attache case which is by far the most popular in use today. You will find people who keep their laptops in it. Actually, they are now being designed to also hold your laptop or netbook.
One profession that can easily and quickly be linked to the attache case are lawyers. You would always find lawyers carrying their leather briefcases in and out of courts and chambers.
You can find attache cases made of aluminum. These cases are meant to be for a higher level of security.
Before now, everyone carried almost identical briefcases regardless of sex. Today, you have briefcases specially designed for women so that while it still performs the functions of a regular briefcase, it adds some style to enhance the femininity of the carrier. Men are not left out too as designers are now adding briefcases to their collection of accessories to complete your corporate look in a stylish manner.
As you choose your briefcase, you would have a varied selection to choose from. You may want to a briefcase you can sling over your shoulder, carry as a backpack, carry by a handle etc. The choice is yours and you actually would be spoilt for choices as there a many to choose from.
To make your search easier, you make need to look at stores that specialize in the type of briefcase you need. There are stores that specialize in male briefcases while some specialize in female briefcases. You would of course find briefcases in almost in every departmental store or office supply stores but they may be very popular ones.
You may be a lover of leather and want a leather briefcase. In that case, I would advice that before using it, you protect it with a water of proofing substance like mink oil. The alternative is to go a for the higher quality vinyl or canvas ones.
Choose a briefcase that reflects your style while still being functionally perfect.