As a Scalia Law School student, you will make heavy use of computing resources including word processing, online legal research, and e-mail. Scalia Law has a mandatory laptop requirement for all incoming students. Many incoming law students may already own a laptop that meets this requirement, so this educational expense is not included in the standard Cost of Attendance (COA) for financial aid purposes. However, entering law students who need to purchase a laptop to meet the Law School’s program requirement may add the expenses of a new laptop computer, up to a maximum of $2,000, to the COA. In order to qualify, you must provide a copy of your receipt for purchase along with the COA Adjustment Request form found under the forms section of the Financial Aid website, to your financial aid counselor. Your financial aid counselor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-993-2353. If you have already borrowed the maximum amount in a Federal Unsubsidized Loan ($20,500) for the year, the additional cost will need to be borrowed through a Graduate PLUS Loan if you have eligibility. Laptop purchases must be made no later than the end of the first month of class.
Macs vs. Windows PCs
The Law School and George Mason University fully support both Windows and Apple laptops.
Computer Specifications for a Laptop
We strongly recommend name brands like Dell and Apple because of their excellent performance and extended warranties. There is an Apple Store located near the law school in Market Common Clarendon. In addition, the university's bookstore which is operated by Barnes and Noble, provides special educational pricing on computers and software. For more information, see the bookstore's website on Computer & Electronics.
For word processing, we recommend that you use Microsoft Office. The university provides all Mason students with access to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at no cost through the Microsoft Student Advantage program. Currently enrolled student can download the Office from their MasonLive email account and install the program on up to five computers and five mobile devices. The software is free as long as you are a current student. The university's Barnes and Noble Bookstore also provides discounts on software through their thinkEDU website.
Exams on Laptops
Most law professors allow their students to use a personal laptop to take essay exams. The Law School uses ExamSoft which is made available to students free-of-charge. Exam answers are saved over the Internet to a remote server, so your laptop will need to have a wireless card. ExamSoft runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Windows 10. The Mac OS versions supported are OS X 10.13 (High Sierra), OS X 10.14 (Mojave), and macOS Catalina (10.15). Please note that Windows emulators like Parallels, Virtual PC, or VMware MAY NOT be used with ExamSoft. ExamSoft does not support tablet or convertible devices other than Surface Pros that come with non-detachable keyboards. Examsoft is also not available for use on iPads. For more information, visit the ExamSoft website. Before purchasing an e-Casebook, be sure to check with your professor to make sure that use of e-Casebooks will be allowed during exams.
The Law Library provides a computing lab for law students with a total of 8 computers, including 5 Windows PCs and 3 iMacs. For more information, see the Lab FAQ.
The Law School has a wireless network that covers the entire building. Students use their Mason Patriot Pass accounts to login. For more information, see Wireless Networking at the Law School.
We strongly recommend that you use virus-protection software on your computer, particularly if you are a Windows user. See The Best Free Antivirus Protection from PC Magazine for recommendations.
Do not leave your laptops or other personal belonging unattended at any time while on the Arlington campus.
Mason will provide you with a free e-mail account (MASONLIVE) that you will be able to activate once you are registered for classes. Mason also provides a very effective and free anti-spam service that filters spam on Mason e-mail accounts. Before orientation, you will be automatically subscribed to one of the law school’s student listservs. The listservs are one of the most important vehicles for communication within the law school, so you will need to check your Mason e-mail regularly.
Lexis, Westlaw, West Academic Study Aids, and Bloomberg Law Accounts & Training
Before Orientation, you will be given passwords to Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and West Academic Study Aids. Before the spring semester, you will receive a password for Bloomberg Law. You will be provided training in all of these online systems as part of the LRWA program. The LRWA program and many of our professors use Westlaw’s TWEN to distribute assignments and other course information, so you will also be introduced to TWEN during orientation.
For More Information
Contact Law School Technology Services at 703-993-4855 or email@example.com.