Recommended Computers, Software & Peripherals

Recommended Laptops for Notre Dame Law Students

The Law School recommends that you have access to a reliable laptop for your studies and for taking final exams. If you have questions about your computer needs at NDLS, feel free to call Eric McCartney, Student Computing Manager, at (574)631-9793 or email

You are welcome to purchase any laptop you feel comfortable using. If you are interested in purchasing a computer, you will find discounts available through the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Dell also has systems configured at a discount price. You can view their systems at Dell. The member ID is US146052926.

If you are interested in a Mac, we recommend you choose a laptop that includes at least 4GB of memory and also consider purchasing the three-year AppleCare Protection Plan. The Law School only supports laptops running MAC OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or higher.

Below you will find a guide for recommended minimum specifications for Windows laptops. Computers that don’t meet our recommended specifications may seem more affordable now, but you might notice a need for increased repairs during your three years in Law School.

Note: Tablet computers have become increasingly popular. However, they currently serve as a supplement to your laptop. Our exam software will not run on tablet computers including Apple’s iPad and Microsoft’s Surface series. However, Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Surface Book devices are supported.

Operating System Windows 7 Business
or Ultimate
(Home Editions are not supported on campus)
Home Editions can make connecting to our network more problematic.
Processor Intel Core i3 (any speed) Any Intel Core processor produces less heat than earlier processors, and allows batteries to last longer.
Memory 4GB Memory is the most important component of your computer; buy as much as you can afford. Having 1 DIMM enables you to upgrade memory at a lower price.
Hard Disk 160 GB Hard Drive Students who save pictures, music, and videos will need a larger hard drive. A computer with a solid state hard drive (SSD) will be faster and more reliable as it has no moving parts.
Network Wireless 802.11a/g/n/ac Wireless is a convenient and easily accessible connection to the Internet. 802.11b is no longer supported on campus.
Optical Drive Many laptops no longer offer Optical drives Software installations can be performed via a Web download or USB drive. Portable USB optical drives can be borrowed from the Student Computing Manager in 3305 Biolchini Hall.
Warranty 3 Years; Accidental Damage Some parts cost $600-$900 to replace. You want your laptop to last your entire career in Law School. Accidental Damage means not having to worry about spilling coffee or soda on your computer, having your laptop fall out of your bag, or many other types of accidents common to Law School.

Windows Home Editions do not work well in university networks such as Notre Dame. We also do not have the resources or utilities to repair problems with Home Edition Operating Systems. Therefore, we only support Windows 7/8/10 Pro and Ultimate versions.

The useful life of most laptops is generally three to four years. We strongly encourage a complete three-year warranty to cover parts, labor, and accidental damage.


The Notre Dame Computer Store offers downloads of Microsoft Office 2013 and 2016 Enterprise for Windows, Microsoft Office 2011 and 2016 for Mac, and Windows 8 and 10 64-bit operating system $60 each.


NDLS has partnered with GovConnection to extend a discount on technology products to the Notre Dame Law School faculty, staff, and students. GovConnection has over 150,000 items in their on-line catalog including printers, laptop cases, USB flash drives, monitors and external hard drive for backing up data — just to name a few. GovConnection includes free ground shipping – no minimum purchase required!

Other retailers that can be used for price comparison include, Amazon, BestBuy, TigerDirect, Rakuten, and Office Depot. We recommend you price compare new equipment as some of these retailers offer refurbished products. Don’t forget to include an all-inclusive 3-year warranty when you do your price comparison on new laptops.