Q: In the fall, I will be entering law school and need to pur-chase a laptop. What are some of the hardware features I should look for, and which are the most economical buys?
— T. Johnson, Via the Internet
A: Finding the right laptop for law school can be overwhelming, especially since there are so many options. All things considered, your final choice should be based on how much you’re willing to spend; whether your law school has computer requirements; and finding a laptop with a good balance of performance, battery life, and wireless networking.
The price of a laptop will vary depending on your hardware needs. You should expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for a nicely outfitted laptop. Configure your system with as many features as your budget allows.
Check with your school’s technology department to find out if it has specific laptop requirements for incoming law students. Some law schools make arrangements with computer manufacturers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple to provide a range of competitively-priced laptops pre-configured with your school’s recommended software.
Today, just about every laptop should be ordered with built-in wireless connectivity. Most schools have Ethernet and wireless connectivity set up in dormitories, libraries, and classrooms.