Computer Hardware and Software Recommendations
We recommend that you have a Windows or macOS laptop less than two years old—it will be an integral part of your daily life. We cannot stress how important it is to prioritize a current, reliable laptop so you can focus on your studies without the distraction of technology issues—this is not a resource to economize on. Your laptop should comfortably operate Zoom and include a webcam, microphone and speakers/headset.
A four-year-old laptop for personal, basic computing will not be sufficient. A good laptop can be purchased for as little as $700. We are happy to help advise you on the suitability of your current laptop or recommend a solid replacement option that fits your needs and budget. If the cost of a computer is an issue, you may be able to increase your federal student loans (details here).
PC vs. Mac
Windows-based PCs are more common in the practice of law. However, in the law school, either Macs or PCs are acceptable.
Minimum Operating System Requirements
Both Windows and macOS are supported here at Colorado Law. Your computer’s OS must meet these minimum requirements for use with our exam software and Microsoft Office.
- macOS: 10.15.7 (Catalina) or newer
- Windows: Windows 10 release 2004 or newer (example: October 2020, aka “20H2”)
Please note: Chromebooks, iPads and some other devices and operating systems are not supported by Exam 4 (the exam software used by the law school).
Warranty and Repair
A three year parts and labor warranty is recommended for new computer purchases. CU’s Bookstore offers service on Apple computers. There is no on-campus maintenance and repair facility for other brands of computer.
Free Microsoft Software
While you are a Colorado Law student, you will have access to the Office 365 ProPlus program which allows current students to download the latest versions of Microsoft Office software for Windows and macOS as well as iOS/Android apps at no cost.
Free Cloud Storage (Backup your work!)
As a student you have access to 5TB cloud storage through Microsoft OneDrive. We recommend that you use OneDrive to sync and backup your local files to the cloud. Losing your hard work because you saved it locally, rather than to the cloud, can make for a really bad day.
Although back-to-school bargain packages may be available online or at large computer stores, you should check for educational discounts or academic pricing on all hardware and software before making your purchase. The CU Bookstore offers academic pricing for computers and software.
Taking Law Exams on a Laptop
Students are responsible for making sure, well in advance of exam time, that any laptop to be used for an exam meets all requirements needed to run the security software. Due to known software conflicts with some other antivirus software, we recommend that you use the university-recommended antivirus software.