BEST LAPTOP FOR LAW SCHOOL

What Is the Best Laptop for Law School? Your Ultimate Guide To Choosing the Best Laptop for Law School

Introduction

Picking the best laptop for law school can be tough with so many choices out there. You want something portable but powerful. Something professional-looking but also budget-friendly. 

This guide breaks down what to look for step-by-step for a law school newbie. We’ll talk through key features like battery life, size, storage space, and processing power. We’ll also suggest laptops for law school to simplify your decision. Let’s explore what exactly you should keep top of mind while shopping. With the right insights, you can invest in a laptop that lasts beyond graduation.

Best Laptop for Law School - A Woman Writing In The Notebook While Using A Laptop In The Cafe

What to Look for in a Law School Laptop

Choosing the best laptop for law school students is a huge decision. This could also be a good law school graduation gift from your loved ones. Your law school laptop will be your constant companion for the next three years and beyond of your legal career. That is why selecting the laptops for your law school requirements is critical.

Law students rely heavily on the best law school laptops in their daily activities. From taking notes during lectures to reading complex legal documents online, law school necessitates a versatile, portable device. Durability is also key – your laptop will likely get a workout lugging it around campus and the courtroom.

When deciding the ideal pick from the variety of best laptops for law school students available, keep in mind factors like:

  • Portability Look for thinner, lightweight laptops that won’t strain your back and shoulders. But don’t sacrifice screen size and computing power for mobility alone.

  • Battery life Get through long lectures or study sessions without being tethered to an outlet. Prioritize 8+ hours of battery life.

  • Storage space Install the software and store those intimidating law textbooks and study guides. Aim for at least 256GB SSD storage.

  • Processing power Multitask everything from video calls to presentations without lag or disruptions. An Intel Core i5 or i7 processor provides speed.

Your law school laptop will be the tool that pulls all-nighters with you, puts the finishing edits on major papers, and serves as your sidekick in the law library. Make sure it’s up for the challenge by choosing the right one for your law school career and legal future ahead.

Choosing the Right Specs for the Best Laptop for Law School

Choosing the best laptops for law school feels tricky with so many tech specs to weigh. But as models become more alike, getting lost in the details matters less. Most brands use similar parts anyway.

Still, having a general grasp on a few key features helps narrow options. Let’s walk through what abilities your law school laptop needs and which components make that happen.

CPU

The CPU, often referred to as the processor, is essentially the brain of the laptop. For law school demands, prioritize an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU for a Windows laptop. This prevents slowdowns when you’ve got your case textbook, civil procedure lectures, and evidence presentation, and more open at the same time. 

There are also higher-end Intel i9 CPUs which offer even faster processing. However, they tend to raise costs significantly. The latest i5 and i7 models provide the best balance of speed, multitasking abilities, and practical affordability for most law school workloads and budgets. For law school Macbook options, the latest M3 chip showcases strong potential too with its speedy performance. 

Another feature that the best law school laptop should have is CPU speed. This directly impacts the overall speed and workflow you experience. For coping with heavy law school workloads, a speed of at least 2 GHz is recommended, although 2.4 GHz or higher is ideal. This enables you to watch video lessons, answer LSAT practice tests, research legal cases, annotate dense textual documents, join Zoom calls, and more without lag times bogging you down. 

RAM

RAM, or random access memory, is the short-term workspace where your laptop processes data and executes programs. It’s measured in gigabytes (GB) with 8GB being the minimum for law school needs. But 16GB RAM or higher is best for optimal speed and multitasking capabilities when you’ve got multiple documents, tabs, and research tools open simultaneously. More RAM lessens slowdowns when demand is high across various law apps.

Why Internal Storage Space Matters

Storage indicates the hard drive capacity you have to save files, documents, media, downloads, and more directly on your laptop. It’s distinct from RAM in measuring long-term data retention rather than temporary data processing. Look for at least 256GB storage though 500GB+ is ideal. 

Relying solely on external cloud storage isn’t dependable with spotty campus WiFi. Adequate onboard storage ensures you access case law, class readings, drafted motions, and briefs without the Internet. As a rule of thumb, opt for as much storage as your budget allows.

Screen Resolution

Another feature to consider when looking for the best laptop for law school is the screen resolution. This indicates the clarity and sharpness of a laptop display, measured by the number of on-screen pixels. 1920 x 1080 pixels is full high definition (HD) and should be the minimum for reducing eye strain during long reading assignments. 

Higher resolutions like 2560 x 1600 pixels enhance visual detail even more. Crisp text and images allow you to closely analyze case law documents, create persuasive visual presentations, and toggle between reference materials without squinting.

Finding the Right Screen Size & Portability

Laptop screens typically range from 11-17 inches. Smaller 11-12 inch screens are super portable but can feel cramped. At 15-17 inches, seeing more content at once is easier on the eyes but heavier to carry. The sweet spot for law students is 13-14 inches – a balance of portability and visibility. 

Consider your needs: Will you be mainly traveling between the courtroom, office, and library? Or mostly studying at a dorm desk? Let your habits guide the ideal screen size.

Also, weigh physical laptop weight. Sturdy yet lightweight metal frames allow effortless transport across campus without back and shoulder strain. Accessories like carry cases also boost on-the-go convenience.

Extending Battery Life

This is the most important feature that the best laptop for law school should have. Battery runtime matters most for law students constantly rushing between classes, meetings, the law library, internships, and more. A lengthy 10+ hour battery ensures your laptop won’t die mid-research or while representing a mock client. 

Evaluating Connectivity

As a law student, you’ll likely need to connect various accessories like external monitors, printers, drawing tablets, or wireless mice. Take inventory of peripherals you already own and ensure your new laptop allows compatibility through input ports. 

Prioritize at least one USB-C port, as these emerging industry standards can charge devices, transfer data, and connect displays all via one versatile port. Also, examine wireless capabilities – Bluetooth 5.0 or above enables syncing modern accessories without cords tangled everywhere.

Laptop Requirements for Taking the LSAT Remotely

As the LSAT exam has shifted to online administration, having an adequate laptop or desktop computer is mandatory for test-takers. Your laptop will be necessary since you will create an LSAC account and LSAT Log in to register for the exam. You cannot complete the LSAT remotely without meeting certain technical specifications to enable key security and functionality elements monitored by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

Here are the essential laptop specifications for the LSAT requirements:

  • Have Windows 8.1+, MacOS 10.13-12.6.5, or MacOS Ventura 13.3.1+ operating system 
  • Minimum 1024×768 pixels screen resolution
  • 640x480p wwebcam resolution
  • With built-in microphone

A Group of Students Studying

List of Best Laptops for Law School

Laptop RAM Storage Display Other Key Features
MacBook Air 8 GB 256 GB 13.6-inch liquid retina display Lightweight and portable, 18-hour battery life, 1080p HD camera, four-speaker system, two external ports, and headphone jack.
MacBook Pro 16 GB 512 GB 13-inch retina display High-performance, advanced cooling systems, 20-hour battery life, HD camera, three-microphone system, two Thunderbolt ports.
Dell XPS 13 8 GB 256 GB SSD Intel i5 CPU 13.4” display, Two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, SD card slot, Up to 12 hours battery life, Weighs 2.59 lbs, Touchscreen option available.
ASUS Vivobook 17 20 GB 512 GB 17.3-inch HD screen Micro SD card reader, HDMI port, three USB ports, combination headphone and microphone jack, one-year warranty.
HP 15.6 FHD 16 GB 128 GB 15.6-inch Full HD 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor with speeds up to 4.7GHz, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, HP True Vision 720p HD camera with integrated microphones, and 10 hours of battery life.

Choosing Between Mac and Windows for Law School

When deciding whether to use a Mac or Windows laptop in law school, cost is an important consideration given the high tuition and average law school debt. So when picking a laptop, budget is a major factor. However, the cheapest option upfront may not always be the best value over 3+ years of heavy use.

Functionally, Macs and Windows PCs can both handle the core tasks – research, writing papers, email, etc. The key differences come down to price, reliability, and flexibility:

  • MacBooks tend to cost more upfront than Windows laptops with similar internal specs. However, Macs also typically have higher resale value down the road. 
  • MacBooks can also withstand years of intensive use better than the average Windows machine before needing repairs or replacement. This can save money long-term.
  • Windows laptops are more configurable for specialized needs and offer a wider variety of input/output options to connect other accessories and devices.

There is no universal right or wrong option. It comes down to prioritizing budget, anticipated needs and uses during law school, and any personal operating system preferences.

Best Macbook for Law School:  2022 Apple MacBook Air Laptop with M2 Chip

The Macbook Air is the best laptop for law school because of its portability, compactness, and exceptional features. With a weight of merely 2.7 pounds, it possesses a remarkably slim profile. 

The battery has a maximum duration of 18 hours, making it ideal for extended periods of classes. There is a high-definition 1080p camera and four speakers that make the Zoom lessons better. The price of the Macbook Air is $1099, which is a lot less than the Macbook Pro’s price of $1599.

Best Windows PC Laptop for Law School: Dell XPS 13

Dell’s XPS laptops are powerful and affordable for schools. An Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD are packed into the base model XPS 13, which weighs 2.59 pounds and has a 13.4″ display. 

It offers outstanding academic performance and 12 hours of battery life in a stylish, lightweight frame with twin USB-C, SD card reader, and more for $599. Students can upgrade later, but the cheap base model offers real productivity and ease for mobile students. 

How to Get Admitted to Your Dream Law School

Getting into your dream law school involves more than just choosing the right laptop. An equally critical step is preparing for the LSAT exam. This standardized test is hugely important for law school admissions. It’s often considered the top predictor for acceptance. Schools look closely at your score to assess analytical reasoning and reading comprehension skills.

That’s why investing in quality LSAT prep can set you apart as an applicant. This is where Odyssey really shines. We’re experts in guiding students through every facet of the law school journey – from LSAT prep to building a winning application.

LSAT Prep Course

Elevate your LSAT scores with our comprehensive prep course tailored for your success. Our LSAT Prep Courses help you master everything from logical reasoning to logic games. Taught by tutors who scored 170+ in the official LSAT, you’ll get online or in-person instruction plus access to on-demand video lessons. We equip you with proven test-taking strategies tailored to your needs.

LSAT Tutoring

Unlock your full potential with personalized LSAT tutoring for targeted improvement. For more personalized attention, our LSAT Tutoring connects you one-on-one with an expert tutor to identify weak areas and drill hard questions. Get detailed feedback and explanations until concepts click. We’ll even monitor your progress with official LSAT practice tests.

Law School Admission Consulting

Gain a competitive edge in your law school applications with expert guidance and strategic support. We’ll strategize school selection, help craft essays that stand out, provide application checklist & editing services, and more. Our consultants can also help you identify law school scholarship options suited to your goals and credentials. We’ll make sure your applications put your qualifications for financial aid in the best light. 

Final Thoughts

When prepping for law school, one key purchase will be finding the best laptop for law school to handle your heavy course load. Any law school laptop can work as long as it meets your law program’s basic technical requirements. Be sure to check with your specific law school to confirm the recommended laptop specs. This guide summarizes some general specs to look for, but requirements may vary.

If you need guidance on the LSAT, consider checking out our LSAT Free Class. Over 3 weeks and 10.5 hours of instruction, you’ll get a preview of our teaching style and law school prep curriculum from expert tutors. It’s a great way to get oriented before diving into full courses.