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Computer FAQs

Does the University of Georgia School of Law require that I purchase a computer?

No.  Unlike some other institutions, the University of Georgia does not require that in-coming students have their own computers. The computer, however, has become an almost essential tool for law students, and most of the members of the UGA Law student body have their own computers.   

Is wireless Internet access available at the Law School?

A laptop can be connected to the wireless network at the law school so that you can easily access Internet and network resources.  All of the Law School's classrooms, the law library, and many common areas have wireless Internet access.  Also, most of the UGA campus' outdoor areas provide wireless access.   Furthermore, students whose professors offer the option may take in-class exams on their laptop computer.  The Law School's web site includes a wireless FAQ (/wireless-networks) that provides more information on the network. 

Can you recommend specifications for purchasing a new computer?

We recommend that you buy a national brand PC such as Dell, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Apple, etc.  Ideally, you should buy a notebook with a three-year warranty which will carry you all the way through law school.   There are a wide variety of features and options available to the computer buyer today.  We encourage prospective computer buyers to do as much research as possible on the subject before they make a purchasing decision.  Sources for general advice on computer specifications and peripherals, as well as product reviews for new equipment, include both published sources (e.g. Consumer Reports) and a large assortment of Web sites , e.g. CNET (http://www.cnet.com), ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com//), Epinions.com  (http://www.epinions.com/?sb=1), and many others.

How do I connect to the Internet from off-campus?

We strongly recommend that you establish your Internet service subscription before law school classes begin.  Many law school and legal research resources such as Westlaw, Lexis and library research databases are available via the web.  Also, several law school professors have incorporated web resources into their course materials. 

Students living off campus will have to make their own arrangements for Internet service through a third-party Internet Service Provider (ISP).    The hardware needed will depend on the type of service you select; please refer to the specific service you are interested in for details.

E-mail is the official method of communication for the University of Georgia School of Law.  Even if you have another email account, you are required to have an official UGAMail account since all law school communications will be sent to and must originate from UGAMail accounts.   In order to establish a UGAMail account, you must have a UGA MyID.  See http://eits.uga.edu/access_and_security/myid for more details. 

What kind of software do I need?

We suggest that you purchase an office suite such as Microsoft Office for all-purpose productivity.  As an alternative,  you might want to consider downloading a free copy of  Open Office.

We also strongly recommend that you install virus-protection software (updated with the latest virus definitions) on your computer.  Making sure that you have up to date anti-virus software on your PC is the most important step you can take to help yourself have a trouble free computing experience. There are a variety of free anti virus alternatives that provide excellent protection such as Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG, and Avira

What types of hardware and software are available in the law school computer labs?

The law school computer labs and public areas contain approximately 30 PCs.   In addition to Internet access and numerous legal research resources, we provide the Microsoft Office Suite (including PowerPoint and Excel)  and Adobe Acrobate Pro for PDF creation.  Laser printing is available from our computer labs at a cost of 6 cents per copy.  A color laser printer is also available at a cost of 25 cents per copy.  We also provide a scanning workstation with OCR software.

What type of computer support does the Law School Computing Services Help Desk provide to students?

Computing Services is happy to help you with your computer problems or questions.  Right now we are only able to fully support a limited range of issues.  However, we will always give advice on any computing topic.

We recommend that you purchase an extended three-year warranty for your computer as we would not be able to assist you with hardware issues.

This chart is not all inclusive but is a general guideline for our Help Desk policy regarding student laptop support.

Category      Product (where appropriate) PC Mac
Law School wireless network Most brands of 802.11a/b/g-compliant wireless cards Yes Yes
Exams on laptop Electronic Bluebook Yes Yes
Printing from Laptops to Law Library / Computer Lab printers   Yes Yes
Virus protection problems      No No
Laptop hardware problems   No No
Software installation/problems    No No
Data loss/backup   No No
Operating system upgrades       No No
Home computer/wireless    No No

Conclusion
If you have any further questions about computing services, please contact the Law School Computing Services Help Desk, lawhelp@listserv.uga.edu or (706) 542-0895.