What supplies do you need to start law school?
Law school is different from much of your previous education because it is a professional school. There is no one list of supplies that is right for every law student. However, there are some basic techniques that are recommended, especially when you are just starting out. From good highlighters to a sturdy bag to carry your books and laptop, there are some things that are nearly universal among law students.
This list of law school supplies was created after three years of experience dealing with law school classes and assignments. While your experience may vary, this is a good place to start for your first classes. As you read through the recommendations, think about your learning style. With four or more years of higher education behind you, you are probably familiar with how you learn best. Keep your learning style in mind when buying school supplies and starting classes.
You will go through many highlighters. More than you can possibly imagine! I've used all the different brands over the three years and realized that many of the cheap highlighters are just as reliable as the fancy ones with replacable cartriges. Buy cheap ones in large quantity so you don't run out during finals and have to grab a pack at the expensive prices the student store charges.
Color is a choice that many law students agonize over. A popular book about starting law school recommends highlighting cases using five different colors on different aspects of the case. Almost no one does this by the end of the first semester. Personally, I went with a basic yellow highlighter. But, if you like a different color (or combination of colors), go for it. Don't let anyone tell you there is one "right" way to do your reading. If you understand it and have the important information marked for reference during class, you are fine.
Let's be honest. People who judge what color highlighter you use either have way too much time on their hands, or are trying to psych you out!
Sharpie happens to make most of my favorite products. These are your standard, classic highlighter in a box of 12 (a good start for your first year). I find them to be long-lasting and good quality.
Highlighters are the number one item on a list of law school supplies. Do you have a favorite?
Find a Pen that You Love
From jotting notes in the margins of your casebooks to taking notes in classes where the professor bans computers, having good pens can be very helpful. While you should pick the law school supplies that work best for you, let me take a minute to recommend my favorite brand of pens.
These sharpie pens are easy to hold and write wonderfully. They don't smear or smudge and last for a long time. I'm quite impressed, so these have become the only pens I buy (they are also available in blue and red).