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School of Law

Minimum Specifications for Computers

The School of Law requires that each first-year student have a notebook computer sufficiently equipped to be used to support essential research, classroom, and communications tasks. You can purchase a new computer or use a computer you already own, if it meets the minimum specifications below.

Minimum Specifications

Feature Specs
Computer Type PC (Windows Based)
  • 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor or better.
  • 8 GB RAM.
  • 250 GB hard drive.
  • Windows 10.
  • External CD/DVD burner if possible
  • Optional - 10/100/gigabit Ethernet wired connection —  can get external USB ethernet if necessary.
  • 802.11 Wireless Network Card — Standard with all computers.


  • Students interested in a Microsoft Surface should note that ONLY Surface models that support the full version of Windows 10 are supported by the Examplify examination software.  Those models include the Surface Pro, the Surface Laptop and the Surface Book.  Those using a Surface Pro/Surface Laptop/Surface Book or another supported Surface device should pair it with an external keyboard (USB or Bluetooth).
  • Netbooks are not supported hardware.
Apple Macintosh
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor or better (with or without Turbo Boost).
  • 8 GB RAM.
  • 250 GB Hard Drive.
  • Macintosh 10.11 (El Capitan) or higher.
  • 802.11 Wireless Network Card — Standard with all computers.
Display 13" or larger XGA/TFT display — Smaller display is OK.
Video Card 32 MB, or greater
USB Ports For PC (Windows Based) — 1 or 2 USB 1.X or 3.x ports.
For Apple Macintosh — 1 or 2 USB 1.X, 3.x or USB-C ports.
Operating System Windows 10 (for PCs) or El Capitan (10.11) or above (for Macs) are required.  Students who have Windows 10 Home Edition can upgrade to Windows 10 Education for FREE from our OntheHub Webstore (requires USC network ID and password).
Word Processing Software Microsoft Office 2016/Office 365 or WordPerfect 12 or higher. Microsoft Office and WordPerfect 12 are installed on all Commons Area computers.
Warranty 3 Year, On-Site Warranty (strongly recommended)
Wireless Network Card Required to access the School of Law's wireless network throughout the Law Building. Laptops come standard with a built-in wireless card.
Standard Ethernet Network Card  Optional. Typically built-in on most notebooks (required if you plan to connect to high-speed cable or DSL connections at home)
USB Flash Drive (aka — Pen Drive, Memory Key, Thumb Drive) Optional. Small, portable USB device (with varying storage capacities) useful for backing up data and moving data between computers.
Carrying Case  Technically optional, but functionally essential. If your computer does not come with a padded case with sufficient room for your computer and supplies, you will need one for safely transporting it around the building.
Insurance Optional, but a very wise, and surprising inexpensive way to protect your investment. If your computer is not covered by your homeowner's or renter's policy against theft or damage, you should consider purchasing a computer insurance policy. Several companies write this type of insurance which can cover repairs or complete replacement of damaged or lost/stolen computers. Currently we recommend:

Commons Area

There is a Commons Area located on the first floor adjacent to the Law Library. Twenty-four networked desktop computers are available for law student use. At present, the Commons Area computer labs are equipped with Windows-based computers, all of which are connected to our network and the Internet and loaded with a full complement of word processing, web browsing, and other useful software programs. There are seven public workstations located throughout the Law Library for public use.

Laser printing is managed through your Carolina Card. All law students receive a laser printing credit of 400 pages at the beginning of each academic year. Once your initial printing allotment has run out, you may add Carolina Cash to your account through your Self Service Carolina. You are well-advised to supplement the School of Law’s printing facilities with your own printer at home.

Laptop Support

The law school technology staff is prepared to help you get your computer connected to the wireless network and prepare it for use with Examplify, our online examination software. There are some services we are not equipped to provide, however.  Services NOT provided by School of Law technology staff:

  • Internal or external hardware repair
  • Computer partitioning and reformatting
  • Operating system installation and restores
  • Backing up and restoring personal data, including photos, videos and music files
  • Support for operating systems other than Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Macintosh OS X, iOS and Android

Please check with your software/hardware vendor or outside ISP provider if you experience any of these problems. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Financial Aid

Students who wish to add the cost of a personal computer to their loan funds should schedule an appointment with a counselor in the University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, 1714 College Street, Columbia SC 29208, by calling 803-777-8134. Bring the invoice or receipts for your computer purchase with you to the appointment.


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