What to Buy for Law School

What to Buy for Law School: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting law school is an exciting and challenging journey. As you embark on this new chapter of your academic and professional life, it is essential to equip yourself with the necessary tools and resources. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to buy for law school, including a FAQs section at the end to address common queries.

1. Laptop: A reliable and efficient laptop is a must-have for law school. Look for models with a fast processor, ample storage, and a long battery life. Consider lightweight options for easy portability between classes and study sessions.

2. Study aids: Invest in high-quality study aids to assist you in comprehending complex legal concepts. Popular options include hornbooks, study guides, and flashcards. These resources can be invaluable in reinforcing your understanding of the law.

3. Highlighters and pens: Color-coded highlighting can be an effective way to distinguish key points in your readings. Purchase a variety of highlighters and pens to help you organize your notes and make important information stand out.

4. Note-taking materials: Whether you prefer traditional handwritten notes or digital options, ensure you have the necessary materials. Consider purchasing notebooks, legal pads, index cards, or a tablet with stylus capabilities.

5. Casebooks: Your law school experience will heavily rely on casebooks, which contain primary legal texts and court decisions. Purchase the required casebooks for each course, as they are essential for class discussions and assignments.

6. Legal dictionary: As you delve into legal jargon, a reliable legal dictionary will be your best friend. It will help you decipher complex legal terminology and ensure accurate understanding and usage.

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7. Backpack or briefcase: You’ll need a durable and spacious bag to carry your books, laptop, and other essentials. Choose a bag that is comfortable to wear and has enough compartments to keep your belongings organized.

8. Stationery supplies: Stock up on stationery essentials such as paper clips, staplers, sticky notes, and binder clips. These small items can make a big difference in keeping your study materials organized and easily accessible.

9. Noise-canceling headphones: Law school can be a bustling environment, and finding a quiet space to study can be challenging. Invest in noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions and create a focused study atmosphere.

10. Online research subscriptions: Law libraries are undoubtedly essential, but having online research subscriptions can be a game-changer. Consider subscribing to legal databases such as Westlaw or LexisNexis to access comprehensive legal materials for research purposes.


Q: Should I buy all the textbooks before starting law school?
A: It is advisable to wait until you receive your course syllabi before purchasing textbooks. Professors often recommend specific editions or alternative resources, and you may find some materials available in the library or online.

Q: What software should I install on my laptop for law school?
A: Most law schools provide access to necessary software, such as word processing programs and legal research tools. However, it is recommended to have Microsoft Office Suite and PDF viewing software installed.

Q: Are e-books a good option for law school?
A: E-books can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to physical textbooks. However, consider your personal preferences and study habits before deciding, as some students find more value in having a tangible book to highlight and annotate.

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Q: Do I need to buy a printer for law school?
A: While law school libraries usually have printers available, having a personal printer can save time and provide convenience. Consider the cost of ink and paper when deciding whether to purchase one.

Q: Are there any specific supplies needed for legal writing courses?
A: Legal writing courses often require specialized supplies like legal pads, ruled paper, and specific formatting tools. Check with your professor or course syllabus for any specific requirements.

In conclusion, preparing for law school entails thoughtful consideration of the essential tools and resources needed to succeed. From a reliable laptop to study aids and casebooks, investing in the right materials will contribute to a smooth and productive academic journey. Stay organized, stay focused, and be ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Good luck!