Computer Recommendations and Requirements
Dickinson Law does not have a laptop requirement* and almost all devices are compatible with Penn State Wireless. If you are planning to purchase a new computer for law school, for peace of mind you should consider a full-coverage warranty (including accidental damage) for the full three years of law school (or possibly longer to cover your bar exams) if it is within your budget. There are more important things to worry about than a broken computer!
*Final Exams: If you would prefer to type your final exams, you should be aware that our current exam software, Exam4, does have minimum requirements.
Please Note: iOS devices (iPads) and Chromebooks are NOT supported; however, these devices can still be used throughout the semester to take notes and draft assignments. You should also be aware that because typing an exam is not required, in the event your device is not supported, Dickinson Law IT does not typically provide loaner devices during the exam period and you will need to rent/borrow a computer or handwrite to take your exam.
- Software@Penn State has a number of software packages available to students for free or at discounted rates. You will have access to these discounts close to the start of the fall semester.
- Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Best Buy and others offer discounts for students.
- Penn State students are also eligible for mobile discounts.
- Penn State offers free cloud storage through OneDrive, or Google Workspace for Education.
Services to Know — LionPATH, Canvas, Office 365, and Zoom (from the Connect to Tech Student Guide)
- LionPATH is the student information system where you can view transcripts, access financial aid information, pay tuition bills, schedule courses, and much more.
- Canvas: Your professors may post lessons, give quizzes, and collect assignments through Canvas. This course management systems help you keep assignments organized, communicate with professors and classmates, and keep track of your grades. You can also link Canvas to University email and calendaring systems to receive up-to-date message notifications.
- Office 365 includes your Penn State email via Outlook, all of the other Microsoft programs you’re familiar with—from Word to Excel—and much more. Explore new ways to unleash your creativity and increase your productivity.
- Zoom is the preferred video conferencing tool of the university. We would highly recommend installing the Zoom Client for Meetings from the Zoom download center. You must use the SSO option to properly authenticate with your Penn State Account.
Managing Your Accounts
- Your Penn State Account — Your automatically assigned Penn State user ID usually consists of your initials followed by a one- to four-digit number. There are no password limitations, but Penn State’s Office of Information Security suggests you create a “passphrase”—a phrase, sentence, or random series of words—which is much harder to hack. You will use your Penn State Account to log in to all the University’s sites and services for as long as you’re affiliated with Penn State.
- Manage Penn State Account Security Settings.
- Follow these instructions to forward your PSU email to an external address.
- Two-Factor Authentication — Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security that requires verifying your identity on a secondary device. 2FA is mandatory for all students.
- Phishing — Phishing is an attempt to steal your personal information with a fake email message or call. Learn how to protect yourself and where to report a phishing attempt.
- Password Safety — It’s important to only log in to secure sites and to keep your Penn State Account information private.
- Stay Legal — Intellectual property laws and guidelines can be complex and difficult to navigate. Make sure you’re familiar with Penn State’s policies.
- Virus Detection/Spyware Tools — Download free anti-virus software and learn best practices for keeping yourself safe online.