Laptop Requirement


The Levin College of Law relies extensively on computing technologies and network communications in all aspects of student life. We believe it is imperative to prepare our students to be technologically sophisticated in the use of computers and computerized legal research.

Because of this major emphasis on access to network information, the Levin College of Law requires that all entering J.D. students own a laptop computer that is in good working order with the latest software and anti-virus updates.

A laptop in good working order is essential as computers are used at the law school and at residences in a variety of ways, such as the following:

  • E-mail messages are sent to students, some “LISTSERVs” are maintained for student/faculty interaction and distribution of course materials, some students use laptops for note-taking, and a variety of writing requirements are produced on computer.
  • LEXIS and WESTLAW can be accessed on computers at the law school or from home with software distributed free to law students beginning with the Law School Orientation class during their first semester.
  • Academic advising and registration through the University of Florida’s ISIS program are available through law school and UF computers or by remote access.

Most classrooms are wired with AC power outlets to the seats, allowing students to use notebook computers for note-taking without reliance on battery power.

Some faculty members make use of computer-generated visual presentations such as PowerPoint in class. In many cases, these presentations are also available on the professor’s TWEN, Lexis Nexis, Sakai, or personal website for downloading by students.

Students may use laptops in the classroom for note taking and for class purposes as directed by the professor. Other uses are not permitted, including, but not limited to, email, chat rooms, instant messaging, ecommerce, game playing, etc.

Finally, laptops may also be used during the examination period to type exams through ExamSoft, TWEN, and/or LexisNexis. Thus, a laptop that a student can use which is in good condition and that a student can use during the entire examination period, is essential. If a student’s laptop crashes during an exam, he/she will be expected to continue the exam by handwriting and Technology Services would need to attempt to recover the information that was on the laptop prior to its failure.

The college maintains a limited number of computers providing free access to e-mail, the Internet, word processing, and other applications on the law school network. A GatorLink account, available after registration, is necessary to use any computer on campus, including wireless access from a personal computer. The GatorLink account will be your official University of Florida (UFL) e-mail address to which important administrative information will be sent to you.

The computer must meet the recommended laptop specifications.

Because of rapidly changing technologies and prices, the college does not recommend specific hardware manufacturers or software. However, Corel WordPerfect and Microsoft Office are standard and available on all public workstations. A letter-quality printer (ink-jet or laser) is highly recommended. For more information about printing at the law school visit Printing Services.

The law school’s student financial aid office budgets include funds to be used toward the cost of a portable computer. In providing access to funding for computer equipment, the Levin College of Law is not responsible for the maintenance, upgrade, or loss of equipment.

The specifications below are intended to ensure you have adequate tools to successfully complete the curriculum. Although the portability of netbooks may make them look like a welcome addition to a new student’s supplies, these scaled down machines often lack the power or screen resolution to be useful learning tools.

Most netbooks also have a modified keyboard to allow them to be so small; these modified keyboards can have an adverse effect on typing in general. The smaller screen resolutions on these machines make navigating online content difficult. We advise that netbooks should not be considered as main computing hardware for students.

Feature PC Mac
Processor Dual-core Intel Core i5 or higher Dual-core Intel Core i5 or higher
Memory 4GB 4GB
Hard Drive 160GB or more 160GB or more
Display 13″ or larger 13’ or larger
Wireless Card 802.11 g/n 802.11 g/n
Optical Drive (optional) CD-RW/DVD combo player CD-RW/DVD combo player
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium or higher Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or higher
Software Microsoft Office 2010 Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac
Storage Device USB Flash Drive USB Flash Drive
Anti-virus Microsoft Security Essentials Avast is available at no cost to all students
Warranty 3 year AppleCare Protection Plan

The Levin College of Law does not endorse any specific vendor but will post information regarding companies meeting its technical specifications at discount prices. Since the law school does not provide support for student computers, we recommend that students carefully investigate vendor support.

Software

The law school uses the following software applications:

Microsoft Office Suite

Microsoft Office 2010 is available for free to students via download or for $15 at the bookstore.