Buying a computer for law school

We suggest you buy a new laptop computer that meets our Option One specifications (below) before coming to campus. But if you already own a laptop, review Option Two — if it works for you now, it should work for some part of your time here.

Financial aid implications

Before we dive into those details, our director of financial aid wants you to know that the cost of a computer is not included in your direct costs. You may request that the cost of a new computer (up to $2,000) be added to your financial aid budget (increasing the amount you may borrow). Because most students can live comfortably on less than our standard law school budget, there is often sufficient funding already in the budget for a computer.

If you do decide to request an increased budget to include computer costs, our director of financial aid will begin accepting those appeals in early September.

The laptop computer you'll need

Option one: new laptop

  • New Windows laptop
    • Processor: 2.5Ghz or better quad core AMD or Intel processor. Pentium, Celeron, or Athlon processors should be avoided. Intel core i3 or AMD Ryzen are minimum preferences.
    • Memory (RAM): at least 8GB (more is better)
    • Hard drive: 256GB or larger
    • Operating system: 64 bit Windows 10
  • New Mac laptop
    • Any currently shipping Apple MacBook (MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air) will have adequate hardware and software

Option two: minimum laptop

  • Minimum Windows requirements
    • Processor: 2.0 Ghz or better dual core AMD or Intel processor. Pentium, Celeron, or Athlon processors should be avoided. Intel core i3 or AMD Ryzen are minimum preferences.
    • Memory (RAM): at least 4GB (more is better)
    • Hard drive: 256 GB or larger
    • Operating system: Windows 10*
  • Minimum Mac requirements
    • Any Apple MacBook manufactured in 2015 or later
    • Operating system: Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra); Mac OS X 10.14 (Mojave)**

Unsupported devices

While recent Windows Surface Pro tablets are supported, tablets running iOS (iPads), Android, or Windows RT are not supported for exams and are not appropriate laptop computers.

Additionally, computers running Windows 10 S, Chrome OS, and Linux are not supported and will not work with the exam software.

Notes

* Windows 10 is the preferred Windows operating system at IU. You may download a Windows 10 upgrade for free from IUWare.
** The next version of MacOS, 10.15, is expected in September. Do not update to that version until you have verified that it will work with the exam software.