Computer Purchase Recommendations
June 15, 2012
While the University of Missouri School of Law does not require students to own a laptop computer, we strongly encourage students to purchase one. The Law School has a wireless network for laptop users available throughout the Law Library, and Law School classrooms. The wireless network is also available in many student areas across campus (including Ellis Library, Memorial Union, Brady Commons, and the South/Carnahan Quad). The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law is predominantly a "Windows" shop. There is support for Macintosh available on campus, but there is only limited IT support for Macintosh computers in the Law School.
There are 28 computer workstations available to law students in the computer lab, and 4 'Smart Suites' available with Smart Boards and
projectors. During peak times of the academic year, the computer lab and Smart Suites are used heavily, and access to a computer is not
guaranteed. A student with a laptop and wireless has access to Internet resources and productivity software virtually everywhere throughout
our wireless network, and can also install Print Anywhere to allow their laptop to print to the computer lab printers. Print Anywhere can be
Factors to keep in mind when shopping around for a laptop
The Law School predominantly supports Windows computers. Macintosh support is available through the Division of IT on campus. The Law School does not provide hardware support. Get price quotes from a good cross-section of sources for informed choices. Prices change when new models are released; and new models are appearing all the time. Check all quoted prices again before ordering in case any of the prices have dropped. Also, cross-check for cheaper prices between different departments on the manufacturer's website (e.g.: Home, Small Business, etc.)
Purchasing: When you buy directly from a manufacturer, they will custom-build your laptop with the hardware and software you want. When you order a laptop, find out how long it will take to build and ship it. Some companies promise next-day delivery. If you don't check, it can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Look for a 30-day money-back guarantee & 3-year warranty. Find out where you can get the laptop fixed if something should go wrong. For instance, do you need to mail it back to the manufacturer or can it be serviced locally? Dell and Macintosh computers, in most cases, can have warranty repairs performed on campus through TigerTech.
Exams on Computers: The Law School uses Extegrity's Exam4 software for students that wish to take exams on computers. No emulators
are permitted while taking exams on computer (Boot Camp, Parallels, etc.). NO AC POWER ADAPTERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ANY
STUDENT DURING EXAMS. The only supported operating systems for Exam4 are Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard", Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow
Leopard", Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion", Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion”, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit), and Windows 8 (32 and 64-bit). For more information, see:
Wireless Network:Wireless Network: There are several different standards for wireless technology. The campus standard is 802.11g, but 802.11b NICs are also supported. For more information, see:
Software: All of the Law School's computer lab computers have Windows 7 and Office 2010 installed on them. To ensure maximum
compatibility, make sure your productivity suite is Microsoft Office (not Microsoft Works). Microsoft Office is available through TigerTech at academic price. It might be less expensive for you to configure a laptop without Microsoft Office, then purchase it from TigerTech and
install it yourself. TigerTech:
Windows Antivirus Software:Microsoft Security Essentials is available for download from Microsoft for free. Students are encouraged to uninstall trial-ware antivirus programs, and install Microsoft Security Essentials.
Extra Battery:It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you buy an extra battery when you purchase your laptop. A typical battery will last approximately 3 hours on a full charge when new, but as your battery ages, it will no longer hold a charge for as long. The classrooms in the law school do not have power outlets available for laptop use during classes or exams. NO AC POWER ADAPTERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ANY STUDENT DURING EXAMS, which in some cases can take 4 hours or more. If you choose to take your exams on your laptop, you will definitely want a spare battery.
USB Memory Key: It is highly recommended that you save duplicate copies of all important documents. Purchase a USB Memory Key of at least 2 gigabytes and save duplicate copies of your documents in case of laptop theft or hard drive failure.
If you have questions or need further information, contact the Law School IT Help Desk: (573) 884-7800 or UMCLawHelpDesk@missouri.edu