Information Technology

Law Student Computer Recommendations ITquicklinks

Minimum PC Recommendations:

  • CPU = Intel i5 or i7 or Industry Equivalent
  • RAM = 4 GB Minimum, more RAM = Better Performance
  • Hard Drives = 320 GB Minimum  
  • Operating System = English 64-bit Windows 7 Professional
  • Screen Resolution – HD+ 1600 x 900 or higher
  • Web Camera & Microphone
  • Video Outputs – HDMI & VGA
  • Optical Drive (CD/DVD+/-RW) internal or external
  • Wireless card – a/g/n
  • Warranty – Min. 3 year on site next business day service with accidental damage coverage. Please note that Apple does not offer accidental damage coverage.

For more information about PC computers or for Apple computer recommendations contact:

Jay Michalik ( [406-243-1234].
See the UC Bookstore PC recommendations for professional students by visiting Dell's website.

Why you need HDMI & VGA outputs: The computer industry is in the process of eliminating the VGA analog video output and the DVI digital output. From time to time you may need to make classroom presentations from your computer. UMLS is in the process of updating classrooms but at this time not all classrooms can accommodate both HDMI and VGA video outputs. Apple users will need to obtain both a Thunderbolt Compliant Mini Display Port to HDMI Adapter and a Mini Display Port to VGA adapter.

iPads: While iPads can be useful tools in law school an iPad alone will not be sufficient to meet your law school computing needs because they 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 7 Professional or Ultimate. Home editions of Windows Software are not sufficient for law school use.

Word Processing software: Most UM law students seem to prefer Microsoft Office 2010 Enterprise Suite which includes OneNote (very useful software for UM law students) and PowerPoint software for law school presentations. Corel WordPerfect Office X4 is used widely by Law School faculty as well as in local law firms. It is available at no cost to Law School students from the Law School IT staff. Students may purchase Microsoft software at a substantial discount at The Bookstore with a Griz Card.

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

Adobe Acrobat Professional is available from The Bookstore (with your Griz card) for $119.00.  A complete list of student discounts on Adobe products is available at

Anti-virus software for PCs: We recommend that you NOT purchase Anti-Virus software. Microsoft Security Essential is available as a free download to anyone who has a valid copy of Windows and is our preferred Anti-Virus solution. 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. The current version Microsoft Office for Apple is Office 2011. Office 2011 does not include OneNote. WordPerfect software is not available for Apple computers. UMLS can offer only very limited Apple computer support. IT Central in the Social Science building may be able to help with Apple computers.

Required Apple Hardware: In order to be able to connect to projectors in law school classrooms, law students must purchase the following:

1)    An Apple mini-display port to HDMI adapter

2)    An Apple mini-display port to VGA adapter

Law students who purchase a MacBook Air laptop should also purchase the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter so that they can connect to live Ethernet ports within the law school. The Law School IT department does not have Apple adapters available for students.

Computer Repair Information:

The Law School IT department offers limited technical assistance for computer repairs.  However, the Residence Life Office offers more extensive repair services in most cases at a low or no cost.

Residence Life Computer Repair office:

Location: Room 14, Elrod Hall
Telephone: (406) 243-2625
Telephone Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Monday through Friday
Walk-in Hours: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Monday through Friday

For Law IT assistance, please call:

James Cramer
Director, Information Technology


Ed Wrzesien
Computer Support
Information Technology