Supplies for Law School: What I Actually Use and What Was a Waste of Money

So I have about 2 more weeks of summer before my 3L year of Law School. I do not know where time has gone- it flew by! I had a reader request this post and I think it is a great one. I will be talking all about the supplies I use in law school and compare/contrast what I bought for my 1L year and all the things that were a waste of money because I never ended up using them.

I have always LOVED school supplies shopping. I would beg my mom to take me shopping for new school supplies at the beginning of August so I would have a few weeks to completely organize and decorate my binders and notebooks. College didn't change anything except now I had to buy my own school supplies. When I was getting ready to start law school, I was so pumped to get all new fancy school supplies. A lot of those things I bought 1L year, I still use... but a lot of things I never really used and ended up being a waste of money. So today I am laying out all the things I truly use in law school for the last 2 years and all the things that were a waste of money. 

Here is the post I made before starting my 1L year of law school about the school supplies I was planning to use: MY MUST-HAVE SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR LAW SCHOOL

Below I will list what I actually use and what other things I have added to my list of "must have's". 

Things I Use 

1. Lightweight Laptop
I have a nice small Dell computer. I don't know it's exact details (it was a gift) but it is perfect for hauling to classes (I linked the most similar looking one). It is light and easy to use. I highly recommend a small, light computer if you plan to take notes in class electronically. For times I am not using my bookbag with its laptop compartment, I have a nice little carrying case for it with little compartments for my mouse, power cord, etc. 

2. Bookbag
I have a Jansport backpack made for carrying Laptops and mass amounts of books (mine came from TJ Maxx but I linked something similar). It has lasted me all the way through law school so far and I love it. It's not pretty but it is functional and holds up to the law school grind. I also have a simple leather tote for internships, interviews, etc.

3. Pencil Bag
This is the exact pencil bag I have. I keep it in my bookbag filled to the brim with a million pens, pencils, white out, and tabs. It goes on my desk in every class. 

4. Pens
I mostly use Pilot G2 pens for taking notes but I also love the Uniball Gel Pens. Mostly I just write in a variety of bright colors for everything and my notes are like a rainbow. 

5. Pencils
I keep a few mechanical pencils in my bag just for exam scantrons. 

6. Stapler
There is so much paper in law school and loose paper drive me crazy so staplers are important. I keep a big stapler at home and a mini one in my backpack for last minute things. 

7. 3 Hole Punch 
Remember when I said there's lots of paper in law school? Well 3 hole punching and putting it all in binders is one of the best ways to stay organized. Invest in one of these!

8. Binders
We just talked about binders.... I have binders for every class, exam outlines, one per research paper... it's best to just stock up on these binders!

9. Notebooks
I take almost all of my notes by hand so I have a notebook for each class. I prefer these nice heavy duty ones with college ruled paper.

10. Loose Leaf Paper 
Sometimes I take notes on loose-leaf paper and put it into the assigned binder. The reinforced paper is by far the best!!!

11. iPad
I have an iPad that was a free promotional gift from when we signed up for our home internet. I love to prop this up on my desk in this handy little case with Pandora music playing or Netflix for when I need a little background noise for my studying. I also sometimes put my notes up on it so I can type them into my outline without flipping back and forth between screens on my computer. This is a big investment and not necessary but it is nice to have for certain things.

12. Noise Canceling Headphones 
Noise canceling headphones are a life saver for me in law school. I use them when studying at home to block out my husband's video games or ESPN blaring in the living room and I use them at school to block out the bustle of the law school. They make me so much more focused.

13. Planner
I have talked about my love for my Plum Paper Planner on here a million times but I seriously do love it and couldn't do law school without it. Send me an email if you would like $10 off your very own Plum Paper Planner. I also love these little weekly planning pads- I use it as a mouse pad and it keeps my weekly commitments at my fingertips.

14. Sticky Notes and Tabs
I love me some good sticky notes and sticky tabs. I use them like it's my job. I have a whole stockpile in my desk of them!

15. White Out
I take all my notes in pen so white out is a necessity for all the little mistakes. This little roller white out pens are the best. 

16. Desk Chair Cushion
Law school makes me spend wayyyyy too much time sitting in a desk chair. I have a bad back so I end up in a lot of pain as a result. This little desk chair cushion helps SO much- it is made to help your sitting posture and align your spine. Lifesaver in my opinion!

17. Humidifier/Defuser
My mom got me one of these for Christmas last year and at first I was not pumped about it. I finally decided to give it a try and I really like it for long study sessions. I like the peppermint and grapefruit oils.

18. Highlighters
I exclusively use gel highlighters for law school because they DO NOT BLEED. I am obsessed with this set.

19. Power Bank 
I keep a power bank in my bookbag for those days when my phone battery just won't last or when my friends forget their charger. These things come in handy all the time.

20. Book Stand
I use this all the time at home. I prop my books up one it, my binders while outlining.... it seriously comes in handy all. the time. And for $10, why not?

21. Folders
For classes that I do not use a binder, I keep a little folder like this to put all the handouts and random papers and keep things organized.

22. Wireless Mouse
When I am studying or writing at home, I love having a wireless mouse. It makes everything so much easier!

23. Printer
I keep a printer at home because sometimes I just need something printed right now and can't wait until I get to school the next day.

24. Calendar 
I love having this little calendar hanging above my desk for a quick overview of the month. I put big deadlines, assignments, events, and commitments on here so I have an idea of what is upcoming. Not to mention, its very pretty!

25. To-Do List Pads
I have talked many times on my blog about my obsession with making lists and these little list pads are the best for it! I keep one on my fridge, one next to the couch and one on my desk at all times.

What Was a Waste of Money 

1. Pretty Desk Accessories
I love to have pretty things... but sometimes that isn't the most practical. I bought a bunch of "pretty" desk accessories at the beginning of law school and most of it didn't even make it through the first year without breaking. Now, I invest in higher quality items that aren't quite so pretty so that they will last. 

2. Labelmaker
I got super excited about being organized for 1L year and bought a label maker.... I used it for the first semester and then it got buried in my desk drawer and I haven't used it since. In hindsight, this was a waste of money. 

3. Liquid Highlighters
As I stated before, I use gel highlighters for everything. I bought the liquid ones 1L year and still have them just sitting in my jar of pens on my desk but I barely use them. In hindsight, I should have just got the gel ones and not wasted money on liquid. 

4. Corkboard
I bought a little corkboard for above my desk before starting law school. I pretty much never use it. Sometimes I remember it's there and add something to is but mostly I forget it exists. In hindsight, could have saved money and not bought it.

I hope this is helpful to all of you getting ready for law school!


  1. Hi there! How did you decide which classes to use a binder for versus just a folder? Do you just kind of have to feel it out as you go based on paper volume?

    1. Pretty much. I usually start with a folder for all and transition to a binder when the amount of paper gets excessive. Or sometimes I get a heads up from a classmate that there is large amounts of handout's for a particular class so I start out with a binder from the start

  2. The links to the items seem broken.

  3. Hi do you still have a promo code for plum paper planners?

    1. Yes. Please send me an email through the contact form and I will send your referral code to you.