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 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 School of Law.  






At least 1.5 GHz

At least 1.5 GHz (Intel-based)

Higher processor speed will provide better performance.

Memory (RAM)


At least 4 GB

At least 4 GB

More system memory (RAM) will improve performance

Hard Drive

At least 40 GB

At least 40 GB

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


802.11 B/G/N

802.11 B/G/N

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

Disc Drive



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


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. 


At least 800x600 resolution

At least 800x600 resolution

Minimum requirement for Exam4 – please note that many “netbook” devices do not meet this requirement

Operating System

Windows Vista,

Windows 7

OS X 10.6 or newer


Make sure that your laptop's operating system is 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 the laptop.

·  Security Cable & Lock – Ensure that the 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.



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

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

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.  For information on the system requirements for Exam4, please visit:

Can a laptop be purchased using my financial aid?

For information, please email our financial aid coordinator, Kristina Bryan.

Computer Labs

The School of Law also provides a student computing lab on the second floor of the Omer Poos Law Library, as well as a computing classroom that can be utilized by students when classes are not scheduled. Microsoft Office, on-line legal research tools, and a variety of other applications are available on all of the School of Law lab computers.

Wireless Internet

Nearly every corner of the School of Law campus is covered by SLU’s Billiken-wireless network, providing instant internet access to all students, faculty, and staff. For more detailed information about the wireless network, visit

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.

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. 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.

For additional questions or assistance, please contact the Saint Louis University ITS Helpdesk:

Phone: (314) 977-4000