*** UPDATE***For any of you checking out this post in 2019, I actually have written a new, updated post on must-have supplies for law school! I stand by everything in this post, but if you want to know my perspective as someone a little older and wiser who has graduated from law school, check out my new post here! Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Well, it might be hard to believe it - but summer is already half gone! Now that I'm in the home stretch toward 2L year, it's time to start preparing for the upcoming school year. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite part of starting a new school year was buying new school supplies. Who doesn't love brand new pens to write with in empty notebooks that live in a clean, new backpack? It's one of the best feelings in the world. Although anyone who's going to law school has been to college before, you may be wondering what type of school supplies you need for law school. Luckily, it's pretty much the same stuff. But here are my recommendations for the best school supplies for law school!
LAPTOP - HP Spectre x360
So obviously for law school, you're going to need a laptop. In college, you could probably get away with using a computer in the lab if needed or borrowing from a friend, and getting by without having your own laptop if that was what you wanted. In law school - that's not an option. Laptops are required by most schools, and even if they weren't, you'll want one for taking your notes.
A lot of people buy MacBooks for law school which is a great choice. They're reliable, sturdy, allow you to use iMessage on your computer, and can often have the prestige of owning Apple products. Overall, this is a great option.
I prefer PCs for my computer (although when it comes to phones, give me an iPhone anyday), so I don't have a MacBook. What I do have is an HP Spectre x360 and I LOVE IT. It's super lightweight, which is so nice for carrying in my backpack. It also has a battery that lasts for twelve hours (no - I'm not kidding) which is amazing, because it means I don't have to lug my charger back and forth. I highly recommend this whole laptop.
[Note: I know these are expensive choices. But when it comes to laptops, I'm a big believer that you should invest. Besides - if you spend the money to invest in a good laptop now, it's less likely that you'll have to buy a new one halfway through your 2L year]
BACKPACK - The bigger, the better
These days I see so many school supplies blog posts talking about their backpacks, and I always laugh. They show off cute, fashionable backpacks. Which, I'm sure look amazing walking through the hallway. But law school textbooks are big. And heavy. So you need a large, sturdy backpack that won't kill your shoulders or rip under the weight of your law school textbooks. I recently bought this new backpack and I am so excited to use it during my 2L year. It's meant to be used as a travel backpack, which means it has a lot of room to carry law school books, lots of pockets to easily throw in my phone, pens, notebooks, textbooks, etc. It also has a padded laptop pouch, which is essential for law students.
PENS - Lots of them
Pilot G2 Retractable Gel Pens, and I refuse to use any other kind of pen. Seriously - I bought a giant pack to keep in my office this summer because I am so picky about my pens.
Another common favorite I see are the Staedtler fine-point pens. Every blogger raves about them, so I had to try them out. I do love these pens - and all of the fun colors they come in. But I don't necessarily like them for everyday writing, because they don't flow as easily. I do like them for filling out planners or making flashcards, so I still keep a set around.
HIGHLIGHTERS - Get even more of these than pens
I think I used an entire highlighter every week of law school. I joked that I really should keep track of how many I used and tell everyone - but I stopped counting after 15. So get a ridiculous amount of highlighters.
I remember having to get more during finals week, and one of my friends still in undergrad asked why I was buying school supplies right before the semester ended. "I'll use them all up," I told her, and she didn't believe me. A week later I gave her the dried-up highlighter, casually saying "I told you," as I dropped it in her hand. Moral of the story: buy a lot of highlighters - and you'll probably have to buy more.
I'm particular to the Sharpie brand of highlighters. Specifically, I like the fine, pocket-style highlighters and use them in bulk. However, I just bought a pack of the clear-view highlighters which several of my friends have recommended to me. This allows you to see the text you are highlighting, so you won't have any of that messiness of highlighting extra words.
STICKY NOTES AND TABS
You never know when you're going to need an assortment of post-its. I literally could not survive without these Post-It Flags. I use them from everything including tabbing books, marking important things in my notes, to organizing things like important files or flagging favorite quotes in some of the classic books I love to read. I love these so much that my friends have bought them for me for birthdays and Christmas - it's amazing. And of course, you can never go wrong having classic sticky notes around for when you need to write yourself a note, make a quick bookmark, or organize a stack of papers.
NOTEBOOKS - Go Basic
You guys know that I take reading notes on my computer and then my in-class notes by hand. So obviously I need notebooks to take notes with! I used to be so excited to get cool notebooks, but then I realized - that is totally unnecessary. My best advice is to get a bunch of basic, sturdy, college-ruled notebooks that aren't anything special. I usually get one notebook per class, all with the same color of cover, and label them for each class. This makes everything simple, easy, and totally functional for class. If you're going to take notes by hand - just get some basic notebooks.
A planner is absolutely, positively one of the most essential supplies for law school. I have to have one that has space to plan out both my days, and my month at a glance. Also, some planners don't have that much space to plan on the weekends and that is totally a deal-breaker for me. Just because I don't have class doesn't mean I cease to stop planning every second of every day. I recently found this planner, and I absolutely love it. It has so much space to plan each day, a priority list for each day, and an inspirational quote just for something extra. It is a little bulky - but totally worth it for the amount of space you have to plan all of the things!