15 Things to Add to Your Law School Shopping List
There’s no going back now. You’ve decided. You’ve committed. You’re going to law school. And, of course, you want to prepare. Today, we’re going to focus on putting together a law school shopping list.
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out the things you’ll need to make the next three years of your education go as smoothly as possible. If you’ve been reading advice and stories about the trials and tribulations of law school, it’s probably clear to you that it won’t be anything like college, and the supplies you need to succeed might also be different than your old stand-bys from undergrad.
Here, we’re going to talk about fifteen things to add to your law school shopping list!
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15 Things to Add to Your Law School Shopping List
Every law school experience is unique. It’s impossible to fully prepare for the journey you’re about to take. There are bound to be plenty of things along the way that you never anticipated. The good news is that there are some things you can stock up on that are almost guaranteed to make any law school experience a little more manageable.
We understand that the thought of shopping for school supplies may give you some anxiety at this point. After all, you probably just saw that first law school tuition bill, not to mention the costs related to textbooks and living expenses. But don’t worry! Most of the things you’ll need are easy to find and not too expensive, and some of them may actually save you some money throughout law school if you invest a little up front! This post will cover fifteen things to add to your law school shopping list. Get ready for a shopping spree!
You’ll be spending a lot of time at school, and you’ll likely be carrying a lot of stuff with you. You’ll want a sturdy, comfortable backpack to hold your laptop, your notebooks, and all those heavy law school textbooks. You’ll find that it helps to bring your textbooks with you to class, so you can follow along with the cases and be ready to answer any questions your professor throws your way. Try lifting just one law school textbook, and you’ll agree with us: you need a very reliable backpack!
To save your back, consider getting a bag with wheels. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)
If you don’t already have a reliable laptop, you definitely need one for law school. This is especially true in this time of virtual classes, recorded lectures, discussion forums, and electronic study materials. Without a laptop, you will find it quite difficult to access crucial components of your law school education. Even if your law school is back to being completely in-person, you’ll want that laptop for notetaking, creating outlines, and, most importantly, taking exams.
Unlike what you may have experienced in undergrad, most people type their law school exams and upload them electronically. While you may have the option to handwrite exams if you choose, most students find it more efficient to type. Not to mention, you’ll save a lot of paper and bluebooks!
All that being said, remember that you certainly don’t need the fanciest laptop on the market. You won’t be needing video editing software, graphic design programs, or anything else that could be distracting from your studies. You just need an easy-to-use word processing program, internet access, and maybe the ability to create spreadsheets and PowerPoints with storage space to save all of your notes and class assignments. A simple laptop should do the job!
In law school, you will take a lot of notes. That might be an understatement. If you think you know how to take notes, think again. One or two notebooks likely won’t do! You’ll probably need a notebook for each class, so do yourself a favor and invest in a good set of your favorite notebooks! (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) Make sure they can stand up to some wear and tear, and won’t bend or come apart too easily. Good, durable notebooks will help you stay organized and make it easier to compile your outlines throughout the semester!
4. Pens and Highlighters
Again, a couple of pens just won’t do for law school! Did we mention you’ll be taking a lot of notes? When one pen breaks or runs out of ink, you’ll want to have another one ready to go. Some law school professors prefer that students not be on their laptops at all during class, which means it’s even more important to have a supply of your favorite pens ready to go. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) Even if your professors don’t mind everyone looking at a screen, many students find it helps with memorization to handwrite key terms and concepts. So, those pens will certainly be put to good use, even in this age of technology.
It’s also a good idea to have different-colored pens and highlighters, so you can highlight the different parts of a case, such as the issue and the holding. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) This visual aid will help you a lot when you review your notes as you prepare for final exams.
For those core classes, you’ll want to create an organized outline of important concepts and cases that you can study. You may even be allowed to use your outline on an open-book exam! So, you’ll be organizing your notes and printing out materials all semester. Organizing information is key to successfully studying and staying on track while in law school. A good set of three-ring binders will keep your materials together, well-labeled, and ready to flip through when you need them. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)
Similarly, you may also want to get tabs/dividers so you can tab the most important parts of your outline. These can come in particularly handy for an open book exam. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)
6. Book Stand
As you’ve probably already figured out, you’ll be putting in long, long hours with those aforementioned heavy law books. Laying a textbook flat on a table and leaning over it is bound to wreck your posture. Trying to find some inventive way to prop up your textbook will just be inconvenient and interrupt your studying. Invest in a book stand! (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) It will solve problems before they arise and make studying that much more comfortable. It will be a great addition to your at-home study space!
7. Ergonomic chair
In law school, you won’t want to spend a ton of time at the chiropractor’s office. Even if you plan on doing most of your studying at the library, there still may be times when you need to study at home. You may also need to take exams remotely or attend remote classes. Having a comfortable chair that supports your back will do wonders for your posture, and maybe make you feel a little more ready to sit down and tackle whatever you need to do! (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)
8. Noise-Canceling Headphones
For those times when you can’t make it to the law library, or when the library isn’t as quiet as you’d like it to be, you’ll wish you had some great noise-canceling headphones. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) If you can block out distracting sounds, you can study anywhere, whether it’s at a coffee shop, on a train, or in your apartment when your roommate is being particularly loud.
9. Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is always important, especially when you’re using so much mental energy. When your professor calls on you in class and your mouth goes dry, you’ll be glad to have some water handy. So invest in a sturdy, reusable water bottle. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) Carry it around with you, refill it, and save a lot of money (and the environment!)!
10. Travel Mug
Are you a coffee drinker? Tea? Maybe you like to make a smoothie or a protein shake in the morning. Whatever your poison, a travel mug will make your life easier. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) Then use it for your coffee, tea, or whatever would make that early morning class easier to get through. We recommend something well-insulated in case you get side-tracked before you can enjoy your morning coffee!
11. A Nice Suit
As your law school career progresses, you’ll encounter occasions when you need to dress professionally. Interviews for internships are the most obvious ones, but you’ll also have the opportunity to go to networking events and possibly even observe a courtroom. The courthouse is not the place to try and start a new fashion trend! Be prepared to dress appropriately for these occasions by finding a suit that is comfortable and fits well.
A blazer, some dark suit pants (or skirt), and a solid-color button-down are essential to have for these kinds of occasions. If you think you already own appropriate attire, try it on and make sure it still fits before you head into law school. And don’t forget a nice pair of dress shoes!
Trust us, there’s a lot to keep track of in law school, from full class schedules to which reading assignments you need to complete by which days. You’ll quickly learn that, once you fall behind, it’s not easy to catch up. Do yourself the favor of keeping up a good calendaring system, whether that’s on your phone, your laptop, or in a hard copy planner. Decide what system works for you and be ready to use it…a lot!
13. Extra Battery
You don’t want to be in a situation where your laptop or your phone dies when you need it most. Just charge up this portable battery and stash it in your bag. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) If you forget your charger at home, or you don’t have access to an outlet, you’ll be glad to have this portable battery with you. Just plug it in and you’ll be good to go!
14. Protein Bars or Healthy Snacks
Law school is very demanding of your time and energy. Unfortunately, this can mean that regular meals and a healthy diet fall by the wayside. It’s hard to plan meals and cook when you already have so much on your plate, so to speak. You’ll be grateful to have some healthy and delicious protein bars to grab for busy days. While we don’t recommend that protein bars and fast food become your entire diet during law school, sometimes you need that quick, extra boost to keep you going through the day!
15. Workout Gear/Stress Relievers
You may want to invest in some new running shoes or workout gear or other stress relievers such as a new journal. (Commission earned when you click on the link. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)
Sometimes just having a comfortable set of clothes helps relieve stress! Particularly when you are spending long days studying. After all, in law school, you’ll be indoors a lot, in the law library or in classrooms, and there will be times when you’re glad for a comfy sweatshirt to throw on.
Don’t overlook the little things that can make you more comfortable and make your law school experience a little more enjoyable! Make sure to add these things to your law school shopping list!