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What law school supplies do I need to succeed in law school?

If you are heading to law school, you may wonder what supplies should be on your law school supplies checklist. Especially since you want to hit the ground running—not pausing to pick up school supplies! Take a moment to read our law school supplies checklist below to see what you should consider packing!

Law school supplies checklist: top 10 must-have items

1. Laptop

Almost everything is done electronically in law school—from note-taking to exams. Some professors upload videos of their lectures online. Other professors may have you participate in an online platform as part of a seminar. Even if you don’t feel comfortable with typing, now is a good time to hone this skill. While you have the option to handwrite exams, the majority of people type their exams. Students often get good deals when it comes to purchasing laptops with a valid .edu email address.

2. Laptop bag and backpack

You will be taking your laptop with you every day to class. Therefore, it is a good idea to find a durable laptop bag or backpack. Messenger bags come in many different styles, from canvas to leather. If you prefer to purchase a backpack (which is very useful for carrying heavy books!), there are many different varieties available online, too. We recommend buying a bag or backpack that is sturdy because you will be carrying heavy books as well as your laptop. (Read our five backpack carrying tips for law students here.)

3. Highlighters, pens, and pencils

Many people take notes and highlight in their textbooks. Have a good supply of highlighters and pens handy to make it easier to read cases. Many students choose to underline/highlight in a different color to keep track of the facts, the issue, the holding of the case, and the facts that are essential to the court’s decision.

Some professors will design exams that contain both an essay portion and a multiple-choice section. If you are answering multiple-choice questions, you will be bubbling your answer on a Scantron test form with a No. 2 pencil. Therefore, it’s a good idea to purchase these items now so you don’t have to worry about it during the semester.

4. Flash drive

A flash drive will make your life much easier! Most law schools allow students to print a certain number of pages each semester, and you need to print your outlines. It is easier to print from a flash drive. Also, it’s always a good idea to save your important documents in more than one place!

5. Day planner/agenda

The next item on our law school supplies checklist is the day planner/agenda. Your days will be busy and it is a good idea to write out your schedule to help keep you on track with classes, meetings, interviews, extracurricular activities, and breaks. (Read our post on how to craft a perfect law school study schedule here.)

law school supplies

6. Bookstand

A bookstand is an item that many students overlook, but it will make your life easier. As you are reading casebooks, supplements, and outlining, a bookstand will help you maintain good posture. Why is this important? Many students end up hunching their shoulders while reading/studying for long periods of time, which causes neck and shoulder aches. But the good news is that you can minimize this!

7. Padfolio

A padfolio is an excellent item to bring with you to an interview. It has room for a notepad, pen, business cards, and copies of your resume. Remember that you want to look professional and make a good impression during interviews. A padfolio will help keep your important documents organized. You can find padfolios starting for around $20 online.

8. Binders

Another key essential law school supply is a set of binders! By the end of the semester, you will have accumulated a lot of materials for each class, all of which you’ll use to study. You’ll have notes, your outline, any handouts or readings, etc. Creating a binder for each class is the perfect way to organize all of these study tools. Organizing your documents like this also comes in handy for open-book exams. Many professors allow you to use your outlines and notes on the final.  When you create a well-organized binder, you can much more efficiently flip through all of your materials to find what you need to answer a question. You don’t want to be dealing with loose papers that could easily fall or get out of order. Utilizing binders is an excellent strategy, easily making it one of the most essential law school supplies.

9. At least two interview outfits

Have at least two interview outfits ready to go. The last thing you want to do is head to the store in a rush the day before an interview or a callback frantically searching for a suit, shirt, heels, or tie. If your suit needs to be altered, make sure you take care of this ahead of time as well. Instead of stressing about your professional attire, you’ll want to focus on preparing for the interview (researching the firm/organization and working out your answers to the most common interview questions).

10. Workout gear and/or stress relievers! 

The last item on our law school supplies checklist is workout gear or other stress relievers. Yes, law school is stressful. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that you take breaks. Try to schedule in some time each week for exercise. Make sure it’s something you enjoy (run, swim, do yoga, take walks, play basketball, etc.)! It is also a good idea to get any stress relievers you may want ready! For example, if you like to meditate or do yoga, make sure you have a yoga mat or whatever meditation supplies you consider essential on hand.

Good luck shopping and packing!