This guide is designed to help students select a computer system for use while attending the UNL College of Law.
Your computer will be used primarily for word processing, taking notes in class, email, final exams, and Internet access. If you're more interested in playing the most advanced video games, processing large databases, or graphics work, then these recommendations aren't for you!
Please remember that a computer purchase is not required by the UNL College of Law. The Law Library computer lab is available for law student use during the hours that the library is open. Files cannot be saved to the lab computers so a USB flash drive is recommended. The use of floppy diskettes is not supported.
- At least 11" screen. Some applications will not run correctly on 9" sized "Netbook" computers.
- Operating Systems Supported: Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
-> Windows XP is NOT supported!
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core i3, or better. Use Atom-series processors at your own risk.
- At least 80GB Hard Drive
- 2GB RAM minimum, 4GB recommended.
- Internal wireless network adapter - we recommend 802.11 a/g/n.
- At least one USB flash memory drive for saving files.
Laptops may be purchased from any vendor and are available from the UNL Computer & Phone Shop.
- Symantec anti-virus (Provided to students by UNL) or Microsoft Security Essentials required for Windows. Anti-virus software is recommended, but not required, for Mac OS X.
- Anti-spyware in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials, Ad-Aware, and Spybot required for Windows. Anti-spyware software is not required for Mac OS X.
- Microsoft Office 2010 software for Windows, or Microsoft Office 2011 software for Macintosh, are available from the UNL Computer & Phone Shop at a discounted price to current UNL students. You can also use compatible software such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice, that allows you to save files in a .DOC format. Google Documents is another reliable, free alternative.
Online LL.M. Students
- College of Law will provide you with a USB speakerphone, which includes a speaker and an echo-cancelling microphone. (Plantronics Calisto 420)
- You must provide a laptop of sufficient power to run Adobe Connect videoconferencing software. Most modern computers should handle this - we recommend a dual-core processor and at least 2 GB of RAM memory.
- Your laptop must have a built-in camera, or you must provide a USB-connected web camera, in order to share your video with the College of Law class session in progress.
If you do not have a web camera, we recommend the Microsoft LifeCam Studio due to its' high video quality and sharp, crisp image.
- You must provide an internet connection of sufficient speed & bandwidth to support your videoconferencing. We recommend at least 3 Mbps down / 1 Mbps up, but this might vary based on your local ISP, their quality-of-service policies, and the number of customers in your area who are utilizing their bandwidth.
General Information for Entering Students
The Schmid Law Library has a computer lab for law student use. The lab is located on the first floor of the library. The computer lab provides law students access to the Internet and e-mail, Corel WordPerfect Suite and Microsoft Office Suite. More information about Information Technology can be found on the Information Technology page.
If you anticipate buying a new computer before starting law school, you may want to consider buying a laptop. Some professors make materials available on the web, and students may find it useful to access these materials during class. Most professors require that students use computers for their exams.