12 Law School Must Haves: A Handy & Practical Guide

If you’re starting Law School or an engineer wishing to go to law schhol you might be feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure about what exactly to bring with you. 

Law school is an intense experience that can last for three years or more (depending on your program) and the following are some of the best law school must haves to survive!

12 Law School Must Haves Item List:

  • Backpack
  • Cloths and shoes
  • 3-ring binder
  • 4-5 inch 3 hole punch
  • Paper clips
  • Tab dividers
  • Emergency cash
  • Pencils and pens/markers: 
  • Flash drive
  • Binders, folders, plastic folders
  • Notebook paper/pads (wide rule)
  • Notebook paper/pads (wide rule): 

1. Backpack: 

A great backpack is key in the first year of law school. You need a big enough one to fit your laptop, textbooks and any books you may get from the library or book store. 

A lot of people carry around their laptops in their backpacks because when they walk into class, it is easy to set it down on the floor next to them.

Then, it is simple for them to get up and leave at the end of class without having to worry about picking up their laptop.

The right well-padded law school backpack also enables you to have a safe place for your laptop when you are in class. 

If you ever need to leave the room, you don’t want to worry about where your laptop is. By keeping it in your backpack, it eliminates that problem. 

You should look at purchasing a good backpack that is sturdy and comfortable on your back. You want something that isn’t too heavy or bulky when full but can carry everything needed for law school.

2. Clothes and shoes: 

For your first day of class, you must be presentable. You should wear a nice pair of pants or slacks (men) or a skirt/dress (women). 

Chose something appropriate for the time of year; warmer weather calls for lighter colors and clothes made out of fabrics such as cotton. 

You will also need to bring some type of dress shoes.

Other items to bring include belts, undershirts/undersuits, shirts, and jackets.

3. 3-ring binder: 

This is probably one of the most common school supplies used in law school. 

You can use these binders to store notes from classes, legal documents/cases, and any other things that you want organized. I suggest buying a big binder to add more pages to it as the school year progresses. 

You might even consider buying a binder with 2 rings on either side so that you can exchange sides or remove them if you feel like it is not needed.

4. 4-5 inch 3 hole punch: 

This will be used to punch holes in your papers, memos, and any other legal documents and cases. 

It is pretty much easier than using a stapler because this tiny tool allows you to do a lot of paperwork at one time instead of having to spend time stapling each individual piece. 

I suggest keeping this little guy handy at all times just in case there is an opportunity for you to do some work on something but don’t have the time to staple it up.

5. Paper clips: 

Paper clips are also very useful and will be used often in all aspects of law school. 

You can use them to keep memos, cases, and other documents organized. 

I suggest keeping a small bowl or container with paper clips so that you don’t lose any of them because they are used many times throughout your day.

6. Tab dividers: 

Like binders, these tab dividers can store papers in an organized way while taking up less space than your 3 ring binder because it has tabs on either side that allows you to separate everything into sections such as classes, memos, cases/legal documents, etc. 

It also helps if you prefer using a binder and not just storing your papers in a folder or other container.

7. Emergency cash: 

During times of emergencies, you should never leave the house empty handed. 

Even if your wallet is stolen or lost, you should have at least enough money to make it through the day until you can get another one. 

I suggest keeping $20-25 on you just in case this happens so that you won’t be broke when it does occur.

8. Pencils and pens/markers: 

As obvious as this sounds, pencils and pens are going to be used throughout law school for any writing assignments (e.g., memo due dates) that will require something to write with. 

Also, some professors might allow students to write things down on their tests/papers if they do not bring anything with them. 

Therefore, you should always have a pencil or pen handy in case this occurs.

9. Flash drive: 

Suppose your school has computers that are available for student use. 

In that case, a flash drive is necessary to save all assignments such as the ones I mentioned in my previous paragraph about writing tests/papers, if you don’t have something to write with. 

It also comes in handy if you want to share files between different computers (e.g., work computer and laptop). Besides, this will help you to prepare yourself when you’ll need to prepare yourself for law school in Summer.

10. Binders, folders, plastic folders: 

You are going to need some kind of storage device for storing any assignment papers and memos from law class. 

I suggest buying an extra set of these supplies because if you lose one or two of them, you can use the other ones you have left to keep things organized. 

11. Notebook paper/pads (wide rule): 

Most professors require students to write down important notes during class. It is a good idea to have these pads on you at all times just in case the professor decides to let you record your notes during class. 

Even if this does not occur, I still suggest having one or two notebooks on hand just to write down meaningful information from the lecture.

12. A laptop computer (if available): 

In some law school classes, you will be able to use the school’s computers to take notes or record lectures. 

However, if you miss class due to something out of your control (i.e., weather), I suggest bringing a laptop with you because it can store many files and assignments.

Also, don’t forget important accessories such as chargers for your phone/laptop/flash drive in case they run out of battery during or after class for any reason.

Final Opinion

I hope that this list was helpful and that it helps students who are starting law school! Overall, there are many other things that are necessary but will most likely be provided by your school (e.g., pencil sharpener). 

Also, keep in mind that this list is almost exactly what I had when I started law school; however, some items might be unnecessary for your specific situation (e.g., flash drive if you don’t plan on using the computers at your school).

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