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A Checklist of Law School Supplies

What to Buy Before Classes Begin


If you’re ready to start your first year of law school but not sure what you should buy before classes start, here is a checklist of law school supplies to make your back to school shopping easier:

1. Laptop.

Most law students have their own laptops for taking notes and exams; indeed they are now mandatory at some schools.

2. Printer.

You may do just fine printing out everything at school, but not if your school makes you pay, so be sure to check on that.

3. Backpack/bookbag/rolling suitcase.

How you choose to lug around your extremely heavy law books (and possibly your laptop) is a matter of personal choice, but regardless you’ll need something large, sturdy, and reliable. Also make sure there’s a place to secure your laptop inside.

4. Notebooks/legal pads.

Even for those who take notes on their laptops, notebooks and legal pads always come in handy.

5. Pens of different colors.

Jotting down notes in different colored pens will help you find important information later.

6. Highlighters in different colors.

Many students use highlighters when case briefing in the book; the most effective way is to use a different color for each section, e.g., yellow for facts, pink for holding, etc.

7. Post-it notes, including the small index tabs.

Use these for marking off important cases or discussions and for writing down your questions; the index tabs are especially useful in the Bluebook and codes like the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

8. Folders/binders.

To keep handouts, outlines, and other papers organized.

9. Paper clips/stapler and staples.

Your method of choice for keeping papers together.

10. Daily planner (book or on computer).

Keep track of assignments, progress, and other engagements.

11. Printer paper and extra printer cartridges.

Only needed if you have a printer at home, of course.
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