Do Law Students Need Laptop to succeed? Yes. It is essential and highly suggested that you have a computer. A computer is a fantastic tool for writing and taking notes. The editing power is a massive aid with most Law School writing projects, which implicitly need close, thorough, and repeated drafting and redrafting.

Most legal research is done online, with sites like Westlaw and Lexis and online research aids and ebooks. Furthermore, dissemination of information in law school primarily takes place online, and the student body communicates primarily through email. All exams are electronic, and certain classes may be held online during Covid-19.

Identifying the best laptops for lawyers can be challenging. In addition, choosing the best laptop to buy can be difficult because you want to put your money into a laptop that will serve you well in the long run.

In law school, every student must type their exams on a laptop or desktop computer because handwriting is not permitted. Also, a laptop is a requirement for in-class exams, and a laptop is preferable for completing take-home tests.

This guide will take you through some of the most critical factors to consider in selecting the best laptop. It would also provide some suggestions to aid your decision-making.

laptops for first year law students

Best laptop for law school?

The best laptop ultimately comes down to you as a student. Your attitude to work, your style of work, where you work, and your budget should be all factor into your laptop selection. Because each of these characteristics is peculiar to you, a suiting laptop for one student may not be suitable for you.

Specifications for law school students laptops

The best laptop for a law student isn’t always the most costly or technologically advanced. When purchasing a laptop, consider various criteria such as screen size, battery life, weight, inputs it provides, and the types of ports.

Specifications

As computers become more commoditized, the differences between laptop models are becoming fewer. As a result, actual specs are far less relevant than ever. In addition, most computer makers employ parts from a restricted number of component suppliers.

Still, before deciding on the best laptops for law school, it’s a good idea to have an overall awareness of some technical specifications.

CPU

The CPU, also known as the central processing unit, is the brain of your computer. Most CPUs are made by Intel or Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), while Apple recently released its own. Search an Intel Core i5 or core i7 processor in a Windows PC. The i3 is becoming obsolete, while the i9 is a high-end CPU designated for powerful gaming computers. AMD Ryzen CPUs should function well, and initial feedback on Apple’s M1 has been overwhelmingly positive.

CPU SPEED

The pace of your laptop’s CPU is a good indicator of its overall performance because the faster the CPU, the better its performance. Megahertz or Gigahertz is the measurement standard of a CPU’s clock speed. Therefore, the more cycles per second a CPU can complete, the more operations it can perform. However, a 2 GHz is good enough, while a 2.4 GHz is higher.

Memory

Memory size is commonly measured in Gigabytes (GB) and is known as random access memory (RAM). A computer, for example, could contain 4GB of RAM. RAM is a temporary storage area where your computer processes and performs commands. The more RAM your laptop has, the more information it can handle faster. Therefore, a PC with at least 8GB RAM is recommended.

laptop for law students

Storage

Storage is also known as a memory but is not put in the same context as RAM. It tells you the amount of storage space you have on your computer. Even though storage space is measured in gigabytes (GB), it is not the same as RAM. As the typical laptop memory size increases, laptop storage will be quantified in Terabytes (TB).

Although most individuals save data and files using online backup services, on-device storage space is still necessary to keep all your documents offline. When you don’t have internet connectivity, on-device storage is essential. A laptop with a minimum of 256GB storage is recommended.

Solid State Drive (SSD)

The best laptops for law school carry an SSD. Internal laptop storage used to be in the form of a hard disk drive, primarily as a local backup system. SSDs, on the other hand, has recently surpassed disk drives in terms of speed, ability, and output. Even though SSDs are still more costly than Hard disk drives, the speed, power, and output gains are worth it. Any laptop with a typical rotating hard disk drive should be avoided.

Battery Life

Battery life is another essential feature to consider if you’re often hard at work. Unfortunately, battery life isn’t always easy to gauge because the manufacturer may claim twelve 12 hours, but the actual battery life is determined by what and how you use it.

Furthermore, different applications need varying quantities of electricity. For example, you’ll be good with eight-hour battery life if you plan on staying connected to power most of the time. However, for law school students that would always be busy on the go, we recommend a battery life of at least 10 hours.

Connectivity

Aim for a PC that fulfills the current Bluetooth wireless requirement(5.0 or more) for wireless connectivity options. For instance, if you’re a law student with an outdated monitor, you can connect it to your laptop using an HDMI cord or VGA cable. Even for a relatively recent ” wireless ” mouse, a modest USB receiver hooked into the laptop may be required even for relatively recent “wireless” mouse. What you should seek here is determined by the accessories and peripherals you already own and their age.

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Which laptop is better for law school: a Mac or a PC?

There’s not much a Windows laptop can do that a Mac can’t do, and vice versa. As a result, determining whether to use a MacBook or PC today is primarily a personal decision. Apple laptops are usually more costly than windows laptops with comparable specifications. On the other hand, MacBooks have a longer lifespan and a higher resale value. At each price level, there are more PCs available for selection. PCs also provide more input and output choices and allow you to customize the laptop to your specific needs.

What type of laptop brands are best for law school?

If you go to a Best Buy or inquire about a laptop PC on Amazon, you’ll be confronted with many companies and brands with a good laptop. Unknown brands aren’t always a bad omen. On the other hand, a popular brand name can make a difference in peace of mind and reliability. It is unquestionably easier to obtain support and assistance from the company or search Google for user communities.

It’s difficult not to be satisfied with laptop computers from one of the following brands:

apple computer for law student

Dell

Dell, the most well-known brand in Windows-based laptops, has made significant performance in recent years. The current dell laptops collection is sleek and adequately designed. You could even tailor them to your budget and requirements, and Dell’s customer service is frequently praised.

Lenovo

Among corporate users, the old-time IBM ThinkPad brand remains quite popular. Lenovo has kept the black, boxlike design that IBM pioneered. In terms of functionality, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get a ThinkPad that meets your requirements. Lenovo is also popular for its good customer service.

Hewlett-Packard

Although the long-established computer and printer producer is no longer as well-known as Dell and Lenovo, it still provides numerous economical solutions for PC consumers. On the other hand, HP support does not have the same acceptance as Dell and Lenovo.

laptops for law students

Microsoft

Despite being better recognized for its Windows OS and Microsoft Office software, it has produced Surface Laptop computers for a few years. Microsoft’s recent laptop models have garnered a lot of positive feedback. Surface Laptops are mashup tablet computers with touchscreens and hardware keyboards, allowing greater flexibility. Surface Laptops are also available in several fashionable hues.

When it comes to data security, regardless of which model or brand you choose, make sure to follow best practices.

MacBook for law school

If you resolve to buy an Apple laptop, you will have lesser options than purchasing a PC. However, it is simpler to decide in this manner in some ways. And a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s new M1 central processing unit, which is Apple’s all-new stalwart computer processing unit, is a no-brainer.

13 Macbook Pro

When Apple’s newest MacBook Pros were unveiled, they garnered a lot of positive feedback. They were the company’s first to use its new M1 CPUs. The 13-inch model includes:

  • 8GB RAM
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C ports
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • A 2560×1600 display

The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs just 3 pounds and has a battery life of 17 hours, making it ideal for law school academic activities. In addition, storage and RAM can be added to the base model for a fee.

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The best windows PC for law school

Your options with Windows-based laptops are nearly limitless, but a Dell XPS 13 should suffice for most of your law school day-to-day needs.

Dell XPS 13

Dell’s XPS laptops are affordable, sleek, and strong. The base model of the 13-inch XPS 13 includes the following specifications:

  • An Intel i3 CPU 
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • A 1920×1200 display
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports
  • SD card port

The device measures 2.64 pounds and has 14-hour battery life. In addition, Dell provides a variety of configurations, including touchscreen, for an extra fee.

Alternatives to the Mac and PC for law school

Don’t despair if neither the Mac nor the PC appears to be the right fit for you. Other available options might be a better fit for your needs. You might even discover that the best laptop for you isn’t one after all.

Is a Chrome operating system laptop a good fit for a law student?

Chromebooks are laptops that run Google’s Chrome operating system. Chrome OS lacks several of the functionality seen on a Mac running macOS. It also lacks the customization choices available on a PC running Microsoft Windows. As a result, Chromebooks are often less effective and less expensive. They are, however, frequently suggested for law students.

Top-drawer Chromebooks are speedy, have a long battery life, and handle most daily tasks. Also, cloud-based applications are expected to run on a Chromebook.

do law students need laptops

Considering all that has been discussed can make it challenging to make decisions. So we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to assist you in picking a new laptop:

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon X1 G8 features a

  • 4.9GHz Intel Core -7 processor
  • 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage
  • 14” 1920/1080 touchscreen display
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C connectors
  • 2 USB-3 ports
  • HDMI port
  • weighs less than 3 pounds.

Apple Macbook Air

You can’t beat the MacBook Air, which has nearly similar features to its Pro-level counterpart but is lighter, sleeker, and cheaper. The Apple laptop is ideal for law practice and law school workload. It has;

  • 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB of SSD storage
  • 2560×1600 display
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 and USB-C connections
  • 15 hours battery life
  • weighing less than 2.8 pounds

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Flex 14 is a top-quality choice for law students on a budget. It comes with a;

  • 2.6 GHz AMD Ryzen chip
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1 USB-C port
  • 14 inches 1920×1080 touchscreen display
  • 4-in-1 card reader
  • 2 USB-3 ports
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 1 HDMI port
  • Bluetooth 5

It Weighs 3.3 lbs, and the IdeaPad will get you up to 12 hours of battery life. Considering you would be up and running with your PC most of the time, you must use a lightweight laptop with good battery power.

Various law schools have specific exam software for conducting exams. It is essential that while seeking to acquire a laptop for law school, you are aware of the exam software obtainable in your law school and buy a laptop with a complimentary operating system. A laptop with built-in backup software would come as a plus. In addition, exam software suppliers must confirm that the new operating system will work with the exam software when Microsoft and Apple release new versions of their operating systems.

Conclusion

Whatever your laptop choice is, keep in mind that you’ll be using it for a significant portion of your day. Therefore, seek a laptop suitable to law school needs, meets your needs in form and performance, and is long-lasting regarding specifications. Inquire about your day-to-day activities in law school, tailor your laptop specifications to align with your needs, and ensure you get a laptop that fits your needs as a law student.

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