Today’s law students can’t survive law school without technology. Whereas there was a time when students made notes and drafted documents on paper, it is now customary to use digital tools. You will have to access online databases, read digital versions of textbooks, and organise your law school calendar so that it’s easily accessible from multiple devices. Tools like Evernote and Quizlet are invaluable, but they are digital, not analog, so a pad and paper won’t be enough.
If you are heading off to law school soon, read on for a list of the essential tech items you’ll need to ace your course.
A Good Quality Laptop
There is a misconception that the only laptop worth buying is a MacBook Pro, but Macs are pricey and unless you are fixed on the Apple ecosystem, a Windows laptop will do just fine. However, be prepared to spend extra for a more robust model with a better spec, or it won’t last the duration of your course.
Choose a model with a faster processor, such as a Hexa Core i78565U or an AMD Ryzen 4700U Octa Core that can handle heavy .exe programs. Look for a laptop with extra RAM and plenty of storage for all your course notes and documents. A top-of-the-range graphics card isn’t strictly necessary unless you game, but if your laptop will be used for leisure too, consider purchasing a second one with the right spec for gaming or any other hobbies you enjoy, such as this range of Lenovo Cricut Laptops.
Laptops are useful for taking into lectures so you can make notes and do research, but it is a good idea to purchase a monitor for when you work at your desk. Laptop screens tend to be small, which isn’t great for the eyes. Plug in a monitor and use this for reading reference materials. It’s also handy to be able to switch between two screens when studying.
You will have access to printers on campus, but having your own personal printer makes life a lot easier. You can print off documents any time of the day or night without queuing up to wait for another student who has decided to print off 300+ pages. It also means nobody else can view the docs you print.
Some extra storage is worth having. Even if your laptop has loads of storage, a small USB drive is useful for moving docs from one device to another or backing up important files when you don’t have access to your cloud storage. Think of it as an insurance policy.
College is often a noisy place, whether your fellow students are playing beer pong in the room next door while you are trying to study, or you have elected to take your laptop to a local coffee shop for caffeine and cake. Either way, some noise-canceling headphones will be a great investment. Buy some wireless ones, so you can move around the room without falling over your laptop cable.
Once you have the basics, invest in a backpack to carry your laptop and a comfortable desk chair so you don’t end up with backache after pulling another all-nighter.