What you need and don’t need as a 1L (from a 2L who knows)

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[ Stephanie Baldwin, 2L at the University of Arizona ]

I am just a week away from finishing up my 2L, and the time has flown by incredibly fast. I see on Facebook and LinkedIn that people are proudly announcing their seat deposits and forging ahead with their dream of law school even in this uncertain time. No matter if we are back on campus or still online, here is some advice about the things you do and don’t need as you get ready to head off to school.

Mac or PC?

It doesn’t matter. My school is half and half, so buy whichever you prefer. All that matters is that you have a reliable laptop with a good battery. Some people use Chromebooks and IPads or tablets. They work too, but make sure that they will work with the exam software that your school uses. I use a touch screen PC, and I love it. I also bought an extended warranty so that it would get me all the way through school. If you’re worried about cost, you can ask for an electronics increase on your 1L loan, just talk to your school.

Do buy a bookstand

I have these foldable ones that I could keep in my backpack. They came as a two-pack, so I left one at home and one in my backpack. They made it a lot easier to read books without straining your neck, and made the limited space you have in the classroom work better. These look small, BUT they could even handle Chemerinsky…. You don’t know what that means yet, but this will likely be your 3-pound Con law book!

Do not buy highlighters

I mean it, you do not need highlighters, because they get passed out like candy at school. Now, if we are not back on campus, you might want to pick up a few, but this is entirely up to you.

Do buy an extra power cord for your laptop

You might even want to buy 3. Ok, so I can be a bit forgetful, which often makes me seem over-prepared, but I cannot stress enough how important it was that I had an extra charger in my backpack. I even kept the third one in my locker, just to be safe.  If you have one at home and then keep one in your backpack, you’ll never be without power.

Do not by travel mugs

Seriously… LexisNexis will have you rolling in high-quality travel coffee mugs and water bottles. Trust me on this. They also give out great water bottles, so save your money!

Do buy headphones

Ideally, you’ll be able to buy some noise-canceling ones. It’s shocking how noisy the library can be, and even if you do not like listening to music while you are studying, headphones act as a great “do not disturb sign” to people around you. Ipods or other “in-ear” headphones are also great, but since they aren’t visible, they may not have the same “do not disturb” vibe, as over the ear headphones do

Do not by earplugs

Again, a massive bowl of these will be available in the law library. Save your money!

Do you have questions about what else you should buy? Current law students, what is one thing you bought that you wish you hadn’t, and one thing you wish you had? Let me know over at the @The 2LLife on Twitter or Instagram!

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