Is there anything worse or more frustrating than a laptop that doesn’t perform the functions you so desperately need in order to succeed with your studies?
Whether it’s waiting hours for software to update or a glitching keyboard, an unsuitable laptop can provide extra, unnecessary stress, as well as taking up important time.
This is a sentiment many can sympathise with, perhaps none more so than law students. While it may be tempting to overlook the overall quality of your new laptop in order to save a substantial sum of money - don’t.
If there’s one supply you shouldn’t underestimate it’s the importance of having a trusted and capable laptop.
Whether you’re preparing to take the first step in your academic journey or you’re already in the midst of your studies, you’ll know that a good quality laptop is an essential tool for success.
Law students need a laptop that is portable, reliable, and most importantly, a device that can smoothly run programs and software applications such as PracticePanther, MyCase and Legal Files.
However, the tech industry is a constantly evolving field making it a challenging task to find a laptop that can last you at least for the next few years.
That’s where we can help. We’ve scoured the internet for the best laptops for law students so you don’t have to go through the time-consuming process yourself.
This way you can spend less time worrying about which laptop to buy, and more time focusing on what really matters.
Below are our top five picks!
OUR TOP PICK
It comes as no surprise that leading the list of options is the Apple MacBook Pro. To put it simply, this laptop is the very definition of what we call the most sophisticated laptop for lawyers.
If you can overlook the hefty price tag, then there really isn’t any other brand or product that comes close to offering great portability, super-fast speed and a sleek minimalist design all at the same time.
Fitted with extraordinary specifications, the MacBook Pro will give value to every penny you spend on it.
The ultra HD retina display that comes with this product is probably the best available, while True Tone Technology has also been added to make the display both as smooth and colorful as possible.
The laptop stacks under the hood the latest 10th generation core i5 processor enhancing its speed to a whole new level.
As a result, you can enjoy quickly surfing the web, running software programs, or noting down important points during a class without a second thought.
The MacBook Pro is powered by a 16GB DDR4 ram combined with a 512GB SSD, enabling the device to seamlessly run almost every program within an extremely short period of time.
Some handy extra features such as Touch Bar, Touch ID and Magic Keyboard further enhance the user interface, making the device as minimalist as possible.
Understandably the MacBook Pro comes at a premium. Therefore, if you are looking for a laptop that can perform similar functions but won’t break your bank, you will find options elsewhere.
It is worth noting however, that as an all-round package for law school, it really doesn’t get any better than the MacBook Pro. It’s the jack of all trades!
- Retina display - the very best to offer with True Tone Technology, enhancing the user’s experience of enjoying content in higher density pixels.
- Speed - with the 10th generation core i5 processor installed this laptop can perform a number of tasks simultaneously at optimal speed.
- Portability - weighing only 3.1 pounds and being such a thin build, the MacBook Pro is as portable as laptops can get.
- Storage - the device comes with 16GB DDR4 memory providing a vast amount of space to store all your important files.
- Protection - the product comes with a fingerprint sensor so it won’t unlock unless it reads your fingerprints, keeping all your data safe for a long time
- Battery life - some customers have complained that the battery can only last up to a few hours due to the device having to drive so many pixels.
The HP Pavilion x360 is a unique device on the market in the sense that it can be 100% converted to a full-fledged tablet.
This makes it an attractive option for many law students, allowing them to take down important notes in classes or working on a number of different assignments at once.
Regarding the key specifications, the HP Pavilion comes with a speedy core i5 processor, 8GB DDR4 ram and 512GB SSD storage making things easy and stress-free for you.
Not only that, but the device also takes impressive care of all the data you’ve stored in it with regular BIOS and virus checks to ensure health, allowing you to continue with your law studies safely.
The portability of the product is perhaps it’s greatest selling point. The HP Pavilion is entirely detachable from its keyboard and also comes with a super-responsive touchscreen which allows you to use the device as a smartphone.
Added to this, long-lasting battery life gives the laptop another edge over other lawyer laptops on the market.
As a whole, the HP Pavilion is a fantastic alternative to the MacBook Pro, and at mid-range value, costs significantly less,
- Compact and portable - 100% detachable from keyboard and can also be used as a fully functional smartphone.
- Storage - 512GB SSD storage provides more than enough to not have to worry about downloading important files and programs for your studies.
- Speed - device comes with ultra-fast core i5 processor allowing you to surf the web while also carrying out other functions quickly and efficiently.
- Battery life - impressive battery stamina with the use of premium cells allowing the device to run for around 9 hours with normal internet surfing.
- Not for beginners - the laptop is a sophisticated option with impressive technical features. May be a little too advanced for those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
The VivoBook 15 from ASUS is another option for lawyers and law students that offers speed, durability and elegance all in one package.
The laptop is one of the thinnest devices in the market with an impressive full HD 15.6” display. The display also has NanoEdge Bezel technology which enhances the ease of managing different tasks simultaneously.
The laptop itself is thin and minimalist in nature enabling you to use and travel with it without hassle. It also has a core i5 processor making it a high-quality, speedy device as well as offering 512GB SSD storage.
Other notable features include an ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello and an exclusive ergolift design for an improved typing experience.
- Display - full HD 15.6” display with NanoEdge Bezel technology for added picture clarity
- Storage - device comes with 512GB SSD storage giving you more than enough space to store large files, videos, music, etc.
- Keyboard - smooth and perfectly positioned keyboard will enhance writing speed and reduce any potential fatigue.
- Battery life - one of the best laptops for long-lasting battery life. The addition of lithium-ion cells to the battery of the laptop maximizes its ability to allow you countless hours of uninterrupted screen time.
- Overheating - the device has a tendency to have heating issues. As such, the fan can also be quite noisy at times.
This laptop is one of the cheapest lightweight and thin laptops you’ll be able to find online. The display of the Acer Aspire 5 is 15.6” full HD and comes with 4GB memory and 128GB SSD storage.
Its fast modern processor makes it a suitable choice for law students, especially with a widescreen LED backlit IPS display.
You may think this isn’t essential for your average law student but we guarantee you’ll struggle to use anything else after experiencing the high definition clarity and fast responsiveness of the Acer Aspire display.
An important consideration to take into account is that this device doesn’t have the full version of Windows 10 home.
While this isn’t too much of a problem with most software and apps available on Windows 10S, important programs such as ExamSoft still don’t support Windows 10S.
Note, you’ll have to spend extra money to upgrade to the full version of Windows 10.
So before you decide on whether or not you want to invest in this device, it’s worth taking note of this detail.
- Display - impressive full HD display with a widescreen LED backlit IPS display that will enhance the user’s experience.
- Portability - the thin and lightweight nature of the laptop makes it easy to carry around with you on your travels.
- Battery - above-average battery performance will serve you well when working on your studies either in class or at home.
- Windows 10S - the laptop will not allow you to buy anything from the main Windows 10 store that is incompatible with 10S. To do this, you will have to pay to upgrade to the full version Windows 10.
- Performance - processing power isn’t as strong or reliable as other lawyer laptops in the market.
Perhaps the best budget laptop option for law school is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. This extremely affordable laptop has some handy specifications and is portable enough to be carried around without stress.
The design itself is nothing to shout home about, but it’s simple and traditional. This laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and works at a quick speed when carrying out a number of different tasks.
A 14” full HD display is provided with improved brightness ensuring law students can focus on their work, while an 8GB ram along with a 256GB SSD is more than enough to run some of the heavy programs you need.
Finally, another key feature of note is that the IdeaPad 3 comes with a special battery saving mode, enhancing the overall quality of the battery. Those extra few hours of surfing the web always come in handy!
- Value - this laptop is the best option for those wanting a good-quality product at a modest price.
- Display - improved brightness and a 14” full HD display provides the IdeaPad 3 with a solid quality that students can easily focus on.
- Storage - 256GB SSD more than enough to run heavy programs. SSD enables the laptop to boot up within seconds.
- Battery - special battery saving mode enables you to use the laptop for prolonged periods of time. Ideal for long days at law school or for long journeys.
- Speed - while the laptop is certainly no slouch, it isn’t as quick as the other options previously mentioned and many other laptops in the market.
Best Laptops For Law School Buying Guide
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, it can be a difficult and daunting task trying to find a new laptop with all the features you need for law school. In some ways, it’s almost more useful to focus on the features you don’t need to prioritize.
For example, there’s no point splashing out on a new device that specializes in graphics when you need something portable and fast for your writing.
Feeling scared yet? If so, we don’t blame you. Luckily for you that’s where our Buyer’s Guide comes into use.
Below we’ve highlighted some of the key areas to consider when selecting a laptop that best suits your needs. Hopefully with this information in mind, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that’ll stand you in good stead moving forwards.
The first detail to make sure when buying a laptop for law school is for it to be portable enough. The last thing you need is a heavy and clunky device making it super difficult to carry around with you.
You need a machine that can stay with you wherever you go, so for that purpose it ideally needs to be thin and compact.
A good battery life is essential for any law student. Ideally you need a laptop that can last at least 6-7 hours, it’s not worth setting your standards too much lower than that.
A lot of modern laptops fall short in this sense as they’re often overloaded high-resolution screens that significantly drain battery life.
RAM and Storage
RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and without it, your laptop wouldn’t be able to run any of your programs, applications or files. As a law student you’ll likely have to spend hours looking through files and using software, so a sizable RAM is near-on essential.
You’ll need at the very least 6-8GB, but ideally you’d be going for devices in the range of 16-32GB so you won’t have to think about deleting files to create space.
Storage is also vitally important and you should be considering a laptop that has a 512GB SSD, as many on the list above do. The 256GB variant is also acceptable.
A quick CPU basically means an easy-working interface. Some of the best quality CPUs are used in the five laptops selected above, including the core i5 processor and the AMD Ryzen 5 processor.
Both of these are high-quality and will allow you to carry complex operations without any trouble.
As previously mentioned, laptops for law school need to be fast-working while also having sizable RAM and storage for running multiple applications. Because of this, some of the very best laptops do tend to be on the expensive side.
However, don’t be tempted to go for a cheaper laptop with a lower CPU or RAM, as it’s likely you’ll run out of space at some point or become frustrated with a laptop that processes at a snail’s pace. We highly recommend going for the best laptop you can afford.
It’s always a tricky decision whether or not to pay a little bit of extra money for an extended warranty, but we’d recommend doing so.
If you’re spending a large amount of money on a new high-quality laptop it’s definitely worth paying a little more to cover yourself in case anything goes wrong or gets damaged. This will be sure to save you money in the long run!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a laptop necessary for law students?
Yes, a laptop is absolutely vital. While there may be some computers available at your school, you will require your own laptop to write assignments on and access important documents.
In fact, these days, most of the studying is either online or requires some form of internet surfing so you will be lost without one.
What is the most important laptop attribute for lawyers?
There are a number of key attributes all laptops need for law school but in our opinion the most important is battery life. Even the most impressive and technically-advanced laptop is pretty useless if it’s continually running out of battery.
You will need a device that can last most of the day as you make your way through classes, meetings and courtrooms.