Florida State University College of Law offers a secured wireless network for student use throughout all buildings. We believe that it is
important to prepare our students to be technologically sophisticated in the
use of computers and computerized legal research.
Among the features and applications available to students are the
- Classrooms are wired with
electrical power outlets allowing students to use notebook computers for
note-taking without reliance on battery power.
- There is wireless network connectivity throughout virtually all areas of the law school complex. While on the wireless network, students can connect to online legal research services and the Internet without being bound to an outlet.
- Florida State College of Law also provides each
student with an e-mail address and personal Web space.
- All students are licensed to
use the two principal computer-assisted legal research services, Lexis and
Westlaw. They are available to all law students beginning in the second
semester of the student's first year. The law school provides training
courses in Lexis and Westlaw research.
- Communications to students
from the faculty and staff are made via e-mail. Students can access their
e-mail either by wireless network connection in the law school or from
off-campus via the Internet.
- Many faculty members make use
of computer-generated visual presentations such as PowerPoint in class. In
many cases these presentations are also available on the law school's
Web site for downloading by students.
- We support current versions of
Microsoft Word. We also maintain a help desk and employ student
consultants, in addition to a full-time staff of computer professionals,
to assist students, faculty and staff with computer issues.
All incoming students are required to have access to a laptop
computer which can access the law school's wireless
network. These computers will be used for legal research, computer-based exams,
and in-class participation.
If you already have a laptop running Microsoft Windows 8 or
Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, you may continue to use it as a
student at Florida State College of Law. The standard on the wireless
network is currently 802.11g, common in all current laptops. Please be aware that
compatibility problems may exist because it is not possible to test all models
of computers and wireless cards with the wireless network. It may be possible that you have hardware
with irresolvable compatibility issues. You should also consider the age of
your current laptop. If it is more than two years old, it may work well for you
now, but will probably not last throughout your law school career.
If you are purchasing a new laptop, we highly recommend you stay
with the major, nationally recognized brands. Dell, HP, IBM, Samsung, Asus
and Macintosh are all known to make good, reliable machines. However, quality can
taper off rapidly when you get into the less well-known brands. Because laptop
computers are commonly jostled, and because repairs on laptops tend to be very
expensive, we urge you to also purchase at least a three-year extended warranty. While the
computer support department will attempt to assist you with some laptop
computer problems, we cannot provide hardware support.
A well-padded carrying case is advised. A Kensington lock to
secure the laptop while unattended may also be a good value. No laptop should
be left unattended and unsecured.
to the wireless network
For information on how to configure your computer to connect to
the wireless network, students are encouraged to visit http://its.fsu.edu/Network/NetworkMainCampus/WiFi.
Students who will be seeking financial aid should be aware that
the cost of a laptop computer can be added to the student's budget for purposes
of computing financial aid under the guidelines of the U.S. Office of
Education. Federal Regulations now allow the University to take the documented
cost of your computer purchased for your studies into account when determining
your eligibility for loan assistance. For the vast majority of students, the
increased eligibility will be in the form of private student loan funding. If you have questions about the financial aid application
process, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 850.644.2310 for
detailed information, before purchasing your laptop.
Microsoft Windows based laptop computers are recommended. We do however provide
limited support for Macintosh laptops. In order for your laptop to fulfill the requirement, it must have
- A modern, Windows-based or Macintosh
Windows 8 or higher or Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or higher is the recommended operating system.
- A wireless network card that
conforms to the 802.11g specification.
The IEEE's 802.11g standard is designed as a higher-bandwidth — 54
megabits per second successor to the popular 802.11b standard which tops
out at 11 megabits per second.
- Microsoft Office 2013 for Windows or Office 2011 for the Mac OS.
All of these versions of Office include PowerPoint, which many of your
professors will use in class. Most vendors will offer Microsoft Office at
a reduced academic rate to students.
of laptop recommendations
The specifications below are intended to help guide you in the
purchase of a new laptop. You are not required to purchase a laptop that meets
or exceeds these specifications, but doing so will help to ensure that your
laptop remains useful throughout your law school career.
- Laptop computer with at least
an Intel Core i5 processor or equivalent AMD processor.
You will primarily use your laptop for word processing and online legal
research using the Internet. Neither of these applications is particularly
processor intensive, so there's no need to pay a premium for a
- Windows 8 or Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
We strongly recommend purchasing a laptop with Windows 8.
- A 120 gigabyte or larger hard
We strongly recommend that you frequently backup your notes and documents to another disk or by using an online backup utility such as Carbonite, Google Drive or Amazon.
- At least 4GB of RAM
Again, more is better. This is the corner that most people cut, but we
feel at least 4GB is necessary for your laptop to have a three-year useful
lifespan. It would be much better to cut hard drive or processor speed than
memory. Every new version of Windows or Office has required significantly
more memory than previous versions, and we don't see this trend changing.
- Three-year extended warranty.
A warranty package usually adds two years parts and labor to the
manufacturer's warranty. Some companies offer an optional screen damage
warranty that covers the replacement of broken screens. There are many
different companies that offer extended warranties, some of which even
cover theft. Shop carefully for the warranty that best meets your needs.
- A laptop carrying case.
You may want to consider some added options, such as an extra
battery, a security cable and/or theft insurance.
If you have questions about computing at the law school, you can
contact the Florida State College of Law Computer Help Desk
For questions about: