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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)
  • 2 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor or better
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 250 GB hard drive
  • Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
  • External CD/DVD burner if possible
  • 10/100/gigabit Ethernet wired connection — external USB if necessary
  • 802.11 Wireless Network Card — standard with all computers
Apple Macintosh
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor higher
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 250 GB Hard Drive
  • Macintosh 10.7 (Lion) or higher
  • Super Drive
  • 802.11 Wireless Network Card — standard with all computers
Display 14.1" or larger XGA/TFT display — Smaller display is OK.
Video Card 32 MB, or greater
PC Card Slots 1 or 2 Type II slots 
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 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 (for PCs) or Lion (10.7) or above (for Macs) are required.
Word Processing Software Microsoft Office 2007/2010/2011/2013/2016 or WordPerfect 12 or higher. Microsoft Office and WordPerfect 12 are installed on all lab 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)
CD-ROM/CD-RW Drive; or, DVD/DVD-RW Drive Built-in is recommended; external USB drive is acceptable.
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. Several companies worth considering are:

Computer Labs

There are two computer labs located on the second floor of the Law Library with 24 networked desktop computers available for law student use. At present, our 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. While these labs are typically available for general student usage, several of these labs are also used as electronic classrooms. They will occasionally be closed to students when classes are held there, but when not in use as classrooms, they revert to open law student computer labs. There are 12 public workstations located throughout the Law Library for public use.

At the beginning of the Fall semester, students will be provided with user IDs and passwords that will allow access to the computer labs.


Laser printing is managed through a your Carolina Card. All law students receive a laser printing credit of $100 at the beginning of each academic year. Once your initial printing allotment has run out, you may add copies to your account at a rate of five cents per page through your VIP account. You would be well-advised to supplement the Law School's printing facilities with your own printer at home.

Laptop Support

The law school IT staff is prepared to help you get your computer connected to the wireless network and prepare it for use with Softest, our online examination software. There are some services we are not equipped to provide, however.

Services NOT provided by the School of Law IT:

  • Internal or external hardware repair
  • Computer partitioning and reformatting
  • Operating system installation and restores
  • Application software installation
  • Backing up and restoring personal data, including photos, videos and music files
  • Dial-up/modem connectivity or support for software provided by Internet service providers (AOL, Bellsouth, Time Warner, etc.)
  • 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.