Student Computing and Laptop Recommendation

Laptop Information

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.

Laptop Recommendation

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 from vendors such as LexisNexis or Westlaw may not be available to Mac laptops. 

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

 

Windows

Mac

Information

Processor

At least 1.5 GHz

At least 1.5 GHz 

Higher processor speed will provide better performance.

Memory (RAM)

 

At least 4 GB

At least 4 GB

More system memory (RAM) will improve performance and make programs run faster. You may not be able to upgrade after you buy the laptop, so buying more memory now can extend the useful life of the computer.

Hard Drive

At least 120 GB

At least 120 GB

More hard drive space allows room to save more files (such as word documents, images, PDF files, and mp3’s). 

Wireless

802.11 G/N/AC

802.11 G/N/AC

Most laptops will include wireless cards that are compatible. 802.11AC is the newest standard and will provide the fastest speeds. 

 

USB

At least 1 USB 2.0 port

At least 1 USB 2.0 port

USB ports are used to connect flash drives and other devices such as personal printers and external hard drives. USB 3.0 is the newest standard and provides the fastest speeds. 

Video/Graphics

At least 800x600 resolution

At least 800x600 resolution

Minimum requirement for Exam4 testing software. Read more at http://www.exam4.com/userguide#hardware

Operating System

Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

OS X 10.9 and higher

 

The operating system is often what determines whether software will work on a computer. Make sure that your laptop's operating system is up to date to ensure security and compatibility.    

Other Suggestions

Warranty – ITS recommends that students purchase a 3 or 4 year warranty to provide hardware coverage for the laptop.

Security Cable & Lock – Ensure that the laptop is secure and never leave the computer unattended.

USB Flash Drive – This small device will help transfer files and documents across multiple computers and ensure that there are backup copies of important files.

CD/DVD Drive – While not always needed, some textbooks provide instructional materials in CD and DVD formats, so many students find having a drive beneficial. 


What software will I need?

Microsoft Office: (Free)  Saint Louis University offers Microsoft Office University 365 Licenses at no cost to registered SLU students. The licenses are valid for the extent of the student's academic career. Please visit the Student Tech Center website for more information and to download the Office 365 software. 

Antivirus Software: (Free)  Symantec Endpoint Security for Windows or Mac is available at no charge to all SLU students. The software can be downloaded online.

Exam4 Software: (Free)  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. Please note that most tablets are not supported for exam software. For information on the system requirements for Exam4, please visit: http://www.exam4.com/userguide#hardware


Can a laptop be purchased using my financial aid?

For information, please email the SLU Law Financial Aid Office.


Computer Labs

The School of Law 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 on­line legal research software titles, and a variety of other productivity applications.


Wireless Internet

Wireless Internet is available throughout Scott Hall (and across the entire SLU Campus) to provide fast and secure Internet access to all students, faculty, and staff. 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. Learn about the basic functions so that you understand how to organize, copy, move and delete files.

Also, 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 back up their work.

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

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