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Tech for law school


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colecaufield
  • Law Student

Hi everyone. Just need some input on what kind of tech to buy before getting to law school in august. Basically I already have a laptop that I love using to take lecture notes and that I used for most readings in undergrad. Now I'm wondering: What should I get? Here are my options. (1) Buy a new desktop to use as a second monitor and a backup computer in my apartment for my readings/notes/zoom when necessary. This option is nice since I loved using two monitors during zoom school in my final year of undergrad. (2) Buy a new iPad with a pencil to annotate/highlight readings and just buy a new second monitor (no computer) so I can have the two monitors but also have something more portable for readings. What do you guys think? TIA!

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student

I just used my laptop to connect to two external monitors. I prefer printing out any readings that are available online. But in first year most of your readings will be in your physical casebooks. 

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Renerik
  • Applicant
6 hours ago, QueensDenning said:

I prefer printing out any readings that are available online

@colecaufield you should look into an entry level toner printer. I could go on about why they're better than inkjet printers but It's 6am 😪... 

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SNAILS
  • Law Student

L0 here.

For me, the logic is like this:

(1) What do I want with me for online classes?

(2) What do I want with me when classes are in person?

- can the same computer/laptop be dual purpose? Along with that - mouse, keyboard, headphones, printer - do I have stationary set up that converts to a portable set up I can carry with me?

- for a person like me (and I may be weird) I require stuff to be printed sometimes for me to be able to review and edit it better. This is where cheap and accessible black and white printing becomes important. 

- if you are going to be travelling between two stationary locations (i.e. home and student residence) consider whether your set up is portable enough to take some of it with you if need be.

- for me, the bare minimum I would carry with me when away from my "desk" would be a USB thumb drive containing a copy of what I have been studying or working on.

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KingoftheBritons
  • Law Student

@colecaufield First, I hope you are ready for Monday. We're really gonna need you to shine against Vegas. 

Second, I would go with option no.2. I bought an Ipad at the start of last year to do readings and it has been an absolute lifesaver. It's super great for writing in the margins as you can zoom in/out, which allows you to write lots of stuff directly within the readings as you're doing them. Perhaps the most useful function of the Ipad (if you get notability at least) is that you can search your hand written notes super easily. In essence, it combines the benefits of printing out readings without sacrificing the organizational benefits of the digital format. Also, an extra monitor is an absolute must imo. I would look around for a second hand one - you can find some pretty decent ones at a much lower price. 

Feel free to send me a pm if you want more advice on what hardware/note-taking software to get for your Ipad. Hope this helps a little!  

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QueensDenning
  • Law Student
5 hours ago, Renerik said:

@colecaufield you should look into an entry level toner printer. I could go on about why they're better than inkjet printers but It's 6am 😪... 

I second this. I bought my level toner printer for around $250 and my roommates were laughing at me, saying I waisted my money. I had the last laugh when they were spending $60 on ink every month and I made it to my last exam without needing to refill (literally thousands of pages printed).

Edit: removed some information for anonymity reasons. 

Edited by QueensDenning
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Parker
  • Law School Admit

I also think No2. I'm a 0L but I got an iPad for the incoming year. For work I was given a laptop that has a touch screen with a pen and it's awesome for annotating documents, so I decided to get an iPad and pen for law school. I lose paper copies too easily to print everything out and love how portable and organized digital form is but for me it was a must to be able to hand annotate and highlight. 

I don't have a second monitor (I use one for work but it belongs to the company) and I'm going to wait and see how the first few weeks go. 

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FellowTraveler
  • Law Student
On 6/11/2021 at 10:46 AM, Parker said:

I also think No2. I'm a 0L but I got an iPad for the incoming year. For work I was given a laptop that has a touch screen with a pen and it's awesome for annotating documents, so I decided to get an iPad and pen for law school. I lose paper copies too easily to print everything out and love how portable and organized digital form is but for me it was a must to be able to hand annotate and highlight. 

I don't have a second monitor (I use one for work but it belongs to the company) and I'm going to wait and see how the first few weeks go. 

I was thinking of doing the same, but then I found out that most exam software (and the ones run by the schools I'm considering) does not run on tablets. Make sure you don't get caught out!

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Parker
  • Law School Admit
1 minute ago, FellowTraveler said:

I was thinking of doing the same, but then I found out that most exam software (and the ones run by the schools I'm considering) does not run on tablets. Make sure you don't get caught out!

I also have a personal laptop for exams and zoom! I just thought the tablet would be a nice addition as I love handwriting and highlighting and the portability of an iPad. 

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