What can make good improvised weapons? For attorneys, the most likely items include briefcases, attache cases, laptop bags, file cases, padfolios, desk calendars, legal pads, and writing utensils. When going to trial, you also may have exhibits that may be useful as weapons. While it is difficult to imagine using your cherished chart to strike someone, if your life is on the line, use it! You also may be able to make use of items of clothing such as a jacket or belt, but these items can take costly seconds to remove and get ready.
What uses can be made of these improvised weapons? Often the best use of these is to cause a distraction or hesitation to give you time to escape. A set of keys or a pocketful of loose change can be good for this -- throw it hard at the attacker's face and run. (As a side note, I have heard several people suggest that a set of keys can be held in the closed fist, with the keys sticking out between the fingers, and used as a sort of knuckle duster/brass knuckles. I would discourage this use -- it can cause you as much injury as your opponent, and also lead to other complications. Keys are better used to distract.) Large items like bags and briefcases can be effective shields from attack, and also used to attack an opponent's head or legs. Smaller items can be used similarly, but more quickly. Take a few minutes with these items and familiarize yourself with their weight and feel. Take a few practice swings and take note of how they affect your balance. Then resolve to be ready to use them if the need arises.
A good explanation of the characteristics of good improvised weapons can be found here.