2014 Laptop Recommendations

Saint Louis University School of Law strongly recommends, but does not require, law students own a personal laptop computer for use throughout their law school career. Computers play a significant role in nearly every aspect of legal education and most students find that a laptop is an invaluable tool in the classroom. Having a personal laptop allows students to easily capture and organize lecture notes, access online course materials, and utilize online legal research services. Additionally, most exams may be taken using computer-based testing software, which many students find preferable to handwriting their answers. 

While students are able to bring any computing device they prefer, it is important to note that while all SLU Law systems are compatible with both Windows and Mac, some third-party services and software may not be available to Mac laptops. For example, several legal research software titles provided by WestLaw and LexisNexis are currently only available to the Windows platform. 

Following the recommendations below will ensure compatibility between your computer and all of the available technical services provided by the Law School.

 WindowsMacInformationProcessorMemory (RAM)Hard DriveWirelessDisc DriveUSBVideo/GraphicsOperating SystemOther Suggestions
At least 1.5 GHzAt least 1.5 GHz (Intel-based)Higher processor speed will provide better performance
At least 4 GBAt least 4 GBMore system memory (RAM) will improve the overall performance of your computer
At least 40 GBAt least 40 GBMore hard drive space allows you to save more files (such as word documents, images, PDF files, and mp3’s)
802.11 A/B/G/N802.11 A/B/G/NMost laptops have wireless built-in
DVD-ROMDVD-ROMSome textbooks provide instructional materials in CD and DVD formats
At least 1 USB 2.0 portAt least 1 USB 2.0 portUSB ports are used to connect flash drives and other devices such as personal printers and external hard drives.
At least 800x600 resolutionAt least 800x600 resolutionMinimum requirement for Exam4 – many “netbook” devices do not meet this requirement
Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8OSX 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 or 10.9Your operating system must be up to date to ensure security and compatibility
  • Warranty – Law ITS recommends that students purchase a 3 or 4 year warranty to provide hardware coverage for their laptop. 
  • Security Cable & Lock – Ensure that your laptop is secure and never leave your computer unattended.
  • USB Flash Drive – This small device will help you transfer files and documents across multiple computers and ensure that you have backup copies of important files.

What software will I need?

Microsoft Office – Many professors have students turn in assignments in an electronic format. Microsoft Word is the standard word processing format at the Law School; students submitting assignments must use a file format that can be opened from MS Word. Current versions of Microsoft Office for both Windows and Mac are available to SLU students at a discounted price. For information on purchasing this software, please visit http://www.slu.edu/x30588.xml

Antivirus Software - Symantec Endpoint Security for Windows or Mac is available at no charge to all SLU students. The software can be downloaded from http://www.slu.edu/x24910.xml 

Exam4 Software - The electronic exam software is provided to SLU Law students at no charge. Instructions for accessing Exam4 are provided by the Office of Student Services prior to the start of exam periods.

Can a laptop be purchased using my financial aid?

For information, please e-mail our financial aid coordinator, Jessica Lorentz, at fin_aid@law.slu.edu

Computer Labs

The Law School also provides a student computing lab on the 11th floor of Scott Hall, room 1182. The computers in the lab are equipped with Microsoft Office products, various on-line legal research software, and a variety of other productivity applications. 

Wireless Internet


Nearly every corner of the law school campus is covered by SLU’s Billiken-wireless network, providing high-speed wireless internet access to all students, faculty, staff, and guests. For more detailed information about the wireless network, visit http://www.slu.edu/x30914.xml

What else do I need to know?

If you are going to use a laptop to do work, it is crucial that you take the time to learn about your computer! There are dozens of helpful introductory books available that can be found in most bookstores and there are thousands of free and low cost online resources. Learn how to make backup copies of your work, and remember to do so regularly. Every semester we encounter students who have lost a course outline or final paper simply because they failed to backup their work.

Please Note: Law students are responsible for maintaining their personal computers. SLU Law School does not provide repair or diagnostic services for student-owned computers. Students should contact their computer vendor for diagnostic and repair services. The Law School can assist students with using SLU University resources, but will not perform any hands-on repair.

For additional questions or assistance, please contact the Saint Louis University ITS Helpdesk. Phone: (314) 977-4000 Email: helpdesk@slu.edu