Are you starting law school this fall? Congratulations! You’re in for an incredible journey of hard work that can also be very rewarding. To make sure you start law school ready for success, we recommend having your supplies and technology ready to go before attending class. To help you get started, we put together a shopping guide to help you start law school right.
The Basics: Notebooks, Pens and Highlighters
Having the right technological supplies is important, but those basic supplies like paper and pens are also worth their weight in gold. If you’re going to handwrite your notes in law school (and we recommend you do), you’ll want to have plenty of notebooks on hand. Consider something like Circa notebooks, where you can reorder pages and move things around without creating a mess. You should also purchase a few binders since professors will likely give you some paper materials—syllabus, hypotheticals, and other handouts for the class—and you will need to keep them organized.
You will be doing A LOT of writing in law school, so make sure you purchase several of your favorite pens. Highlighters are a must in law school (even if you’ve never used one before). Buy more highlighters than you think you need. You may want to have several different colors if you plan to brief cases in your books.
Bags: Backpacks, Rolling Bags and Lunch Boxes
Did you think you’re back in elementary school when we said lunch box? Believe it or not, it’s one of the smartest purchases you can make. Many schools don’t have on-site food options (or the choices aren’t that great). You’ll likely spend more time on campus than you think, so get yourself a reusable lunch box and pack snacks, water and your lunch for the day. This will help make sure you are eating through the day and you’ll save money too.
Law school books are heavy! Get yourself a sturdy backpack or rolling bag to carry around books, your laptop and notebooks. Bake sure to consider whether you’ll be walking to school, taking public transit, or driving as your mode of transportation will likely impact which type of bag you’ll want. Since these can be expensive, consider asking a parent to buy this as your college graduation or starting law school gift.
You will definitely need a computer or laptop in law school. If you already have a computer that’s working for you, you may not need to rush out and buy a new one for law school. If it’s in decent shape, save the money for something else you may need like a tablet or software. We recommend starting law school with the computer you used in college before making a new purchase. You may find after your first semester that a different type of technological solution is the way to go.
E-readers and tablets are also great resources if you prefer to read electronically. Many law students now use their iPad to read electronic casebooks for classes, and these are certainly more mobile than a laptop. Whatever you chose, make sure you also have the supplies to keep the technology safe. A laptop or tablet case is important, as is a lock to assure someone doesn’t walk off with your expensive computer.
Speaking of technology, some law students love note-taking software. Programs like Microsoft One Note and Evernote have become increasingly popular as a way to organize class notes. Law school also requires you to be hyper-organized about your time. Be sure to spend some time looking at apps, calendars and programs to help you manage your time well.
— – —
Want more law school tips? Sign up for our free mailing list today.
And check out these helpful posts:
- What to Think About Before Starting Law School
- Five Things To Do This Summer (Before Law School)
- Be Ready to Throw Your Writing Style Out the Window
- To Prepare for Law School, Read the Newspaper
Photo Credit: donatas1205/Shutterstock
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.