What to Buy for Law School in 2020?

Things a rising 1L may *consider* buying.  First of all, you don’t need to buy cloud storage or a bunch of jump drives – use google drive. I use my personal account so that I will always have access in case my university enterprise email is ever deleted. Pro tip ––  ask for these items as graduation presents, if you’re a traditional law student, make an amazon graduation registry. If you’re non-trad, make a registry anyway. 



Roller Bag

After lugging 10 pounds of books on one arm in my “New Yorker” canvas tote, I can say, if your school doesn’t have lockers, you should invest in a roller bag. Don’t go for an awkward rolling suitcase these mini roller bags are the perfect size for your casebooks. 



Plum Paper Planners are a favorite accompanied with a Sakura Gelly Roll pen. Or you can try this planner. Since undergrad, I made it a priority on the first day of classes to take the syllabi and copy all of my due dates into my planner. I prefer the month view because I’m always so busy. If your google calendar works for you, great, but keeping a physical planner has always helped me.   


Office Supplies

Sure, printer paper, pens, sticky notes come to mind. There are also some very cool new tools like the Rocket Book which allow you to physically write your notes but then organize them online. 


I like the Rocket Book for something like conferences and client meetings. But for class, I copy and paste from the book if there’s important language the professor has pointed out. This is fast and efficient and physically writing doesn’t do much for my learning style.


If you’re a reading/writing learning style or you get distracted on your laptop try the Rocket BookSurface Pro, or iPad and use/download OneNote or EverNote. Or just go with the old notebook if you’re not interested in organizing your notes digitally (which I suggest). 



At least once a week, someone stops me to ask where I got my briefcase. Others may disagree but I feel more professional without a massive backpack and I get compliments from students, teachers, and at my internships. 


Mildliners & Pencil Pouch

I love these Mildliners and you can also buy this handy pouch. I use these to book-brief in the method described by the Law School Toolkit. Don’t come for me –– I still write case summaries. I just find it helps me visually organize my notes since I keep the “color key” consistent in my outlines. AND when I get cold-called I can find what I need quickly – lifesaver. Also #studyaesthetic. Alternatively, there’s the Stabilo. And I love this pencil casepencil pouchor pop-up pencil pouch.


Printer & Ink Refill

It’s important for me to be able to print at home and printing wasn’t free at my school. We opted for the economic HP Envy 4500. But we also purchased these ink refills so that we can purchase expensive ink cartridges less often –– better for your pocket and the environment. 



portfolio to me is a must. I pack it for conferences, career fairs, and on-campus interviews. Don’t lug your military-sized backpack in. Grab your portfolio, pen, and legal pad to look put-together, prepared, and to avoid knocking things over with bulky bags.  


Noise Cancelling Headphones

Even on the library’s silent floor, there can be far too many noises that pull my attention away from studying. I have Skullcandy Headphones



Many students swear by these bookstands because their necks hurt from hours of staring down at their books. Bookstands relieve the strain by focusing upward at your reading. 


Blue-Light Blocking Reading Glasses

You will often be in front of a computer, for that reason, I suggest blue-light blocking reading glasses. My eye doctor told me this year – at the ripe age of twenty-three – I needed some readers. Apparently doctors were going to name a degenerative eye disease after law students (yay). But these are lifesavers!


Resume Paper

To go with your printer, buy some resume paper so that you can always be prepared to bring your resume to conferences, career fairs, and interviews. At my school, they charge for this paper anyway so it’s cheaper in the long-term to buy your own.


Legal Pads 

I would buy legal pads for your all your clinic, interview, and conference notetaking needs. But I do like these notebooks for other journaling. 


Seat Cushion 

If you’re someone who has back issues after long periods sitting try one of these seat cushions. You will be sitting a lot as a law student preparing for class and studying.


Travel Coffee Mug 

I use this Yeti dupe or, of course, you can get your other favorite brand.