Information Technology

Law Student Computer Recommendations

PC Recommendations:

  • CPU = Intel i5 or i7 or Industry Equivalent
  • RAM = 4-8 GB Minimum, more RAM = Better Performance
  • Hard Drives = 320 GB Minimum, solid state (SSD) offers better performance
  • Operating System = English 64-bit Windows 10
  • Screen Resolution – HD+ 1600 x 900 or higher
  • Web Camera & Microphone
  • Video Outputs – HDMI or VGA
  • Optical Drive (CD/DVD+/-RW) internal or external - optional
  • Wireless card – a/c recommended - b/g/n workable
  • Warranty – Min. 3 year on site next business day service with accidental damage coverage. Please note that Apple does not offer accidental damage coverage.


Why you need HDMI & VGA outputs: From time to time you may need to make classroom presentations from your computer. Users will need to obtain an adapter that will support either HDMI or VGA video output.

Tablets: While tablets such as iPads can be useful tools in law school a tablet alone will not be sufficient to meet your law school computing needs because most do not offer fully functional word processing nor the ExamSoft software that our students use.

Microsoft Operating System Software: Most computers are purchased with an operating system. For PCs we recommend Windows 10 for new student computers.

Word Processing Software: Microsoft Office 365 is available free to students to download for both PCs and Macs, valid as long as you are in school. This subscription includes OneNote (very useful software for law students) and PowerPoint software for presentations. Corel WordPerfect Office X6 is used to some extent by faculty as well as in local law firms. It is available at no cost to law students from the School of Law IT staff.

Adobe Acrobat Professional: Very useful because it enables students to read, highlight and annotate reference materials online which will save printing costs.

Anti-virus Software for PCs: Microsoft Security Essentials is available as a free download to any student who has a valid copy of Windows 7 and Microsoft Defender is incorporated into Windows 10 at no cost. Computer viruses that can completely disable individual computers and even entire networks now circulate freely. Therefore continuously updated Anti-Virus software is required for all computers that connect to the University network. University of Montana network access is necessary in order to print from personal computers at the law school, to access shared storage on law school servers, and for wireless or LAN access to Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis or other Internet sites from campus.

Apple Software: Law students should use the most current operating system on Apple computers. WordPerfect software is not available for Apple computers. The School of Law can offer only limited Apple computer support. Griz Central in the Social Science building may be able to offer more help with Apple computers.

Required Apple Hardware: In order to be able to connect to projectors in law school classrooms, law students using Apple Computers must purchase an Apple HDMI or VGA adapter. In order to connect to an Ethernet port students will also need a Mac Ethernet adapter.

Required PC Hardware: Most laptops no longer have built-in Ethernet ports. Ethernet ports are essential in some situations in the law school so PC users should also purchase a USB to Ethernet adapter so that they can connect to live Ethernet ports within the law school.

Computer Repair Information

The Law School IT department offers limited technical assistance for computer repairs.  Students may be able to obtain limited help with computer repairs from IT Central (Social Science 120) or from Student Affairs IT on the first floor of the UC.


Law IT Assistance


(406) 243-2546