Frequently Asked Questions
Law School Lab and Printers
Does the Law School have a personal computer requirement?
No. However, if you are shopping for a new computer for use at the Law School, recommended system specs can be found below.
If you choose not to own or don't have access to a personal computer, William Gates Hall has a computer lab, and public terminals are available in the Law Library.
Lastly, the UW Seattle campus has a number of computing facilities and labs open to students.
What system requirements or specifications does the Law School recommend for personally-owned computers?
If you are bringing a computer to school or will be purchasing a new one soon for academic use, below are the recommended specifications:
- Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium (or better) (What about Windows 8?)
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon
- RAM: 2GB+
- Hard Disk: 80GB+, 7200RPM+
- Network (Ethernet) Adapter: 100Mb+
- DVD or CD burner
- 2 or more USB 2.0 ports
- 17-inch+ monitor (desktop computer) / 14-inch+ display (laptop)
- 802.11 a, b/g compatible wireless network adapter (laptop systems)
- Active warranty coverage
- Operating System: Windows XP Home with Service Pack 3 (What about Windows Vista?)
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4 (desktop computer) / Pentium M (laptops) or AMD Sempron
- RAM: 1GB
- Hard Disk: 40GB, 5400 RPM
- Network (Ethernet) Adapter: 10Mb
- 802.11 b/g compatible wireless network adapter (laptop systems)
- CD drive
- 2 USB 1.1 ports
- 15-inch monitor (desktop systems) / 12-inch display (laptop systems)
- Active warranty coverage
What version of Windows should I use?
If you are a Windows user, Law School Technology Services' current computer recommendations (above) specify Windows 7. Information about using any of Microsoft's three most recent operating systems at the Law School follows:
We do not recommend one version of Windows 7 over another (e.g. "Home Premium" vs. "Ultimate"),
although "Professional" is generally not necessary for use on personal computers. If you're looking to buy
a new computer and have a choice of Windows 7 versions, our advice is simply to buy what you actually need and can afford.
In general, law students primarily use their laptops for word processing, internet/email access, and increasingly, to
view/listen to class recordings.
What About Windows 8?
As mentioned above, Law School Technology Services recommends using Windows 7. We do not currently recommend running or upgrading to Windows 8, owing to it still being so new, and therefore somewhat unproven. Windows 8 has a significantly different look and feel from its predecessor; we feel this "new-ness" could constitute a learning curve that's unnecessarily and inconveniently steep for some. Microsoft has taken a number of risks with the design of Windows 8, and we feel that the jury is still out within the tech industry as to whether or not those risks will pay off and be embraced by consumers and the tech industry.
At this time, Law School Technology Services is only able to provide limited, "best effort" technical support for student computers that run Windows 8.
What About Windows Vista?
As mentioned above, Law School Technology Services recommends using Windows 7. However, our not recommending Windows Vista does not mean that you can't or shouldn't use it. We have extensive experience supporting Windows 7, and, in general, have found it easier to use and more reliable than Vista.
If you are using Windows XP, be sure that it has been updated to Service
Pack 3, as it represents a significant upgrade to the base version of
Windows XP. You can check your version of Windows XP by right-clicking
My Computer, selecting Properties, and checking the version information
in the General tab.
If you need to install SP3, note that doing so may affect your use of
certain Windows XP features, internet-dependent programs, or websites.
Please use the links below to find information on how these commonly
used applications are affected by Windows XP Service Pack 3:
What brand of computer should I buy?
The Law School has standardized faculty and staff computers on Dell and Lenovo hardware. However, this does not mean that students necessarily need to follow suit. The rule of thumb is to buy what you can afford; given current pricing you should be able to purchase a new desktop system for around $600 and a laptop for around $1000.
If you intend to purchase your computer through mail order, we strongly recommend finding a demo model at a computer store of the system you want (especially for laptops). The UW Bookstore has several models on display and an academic discount program.
Can I receive financial aid to assist in purchasing a computer?
The Financial Aid Office may be able to offer you loan funds to assist toward the purchase of a computer,
provided the computer will be used for educational purposes. For more information, visit the
Office of Student Financial Aid website
and search on the word "computer" to locate the document on requesting consideration
for unusual expenses.
Where can I buy any software or hardware I may need?
A number of resources are available:
Can I use a Macintosh computer at the Law School?
Yes. See more information about the technical support policy for students and information about using a Mac on an exam.
Additionally, a number of computer labs on the UW campus provide Macs for student use as well as increased support for Mac applications.
Can I use my Macintosh laptop to take an exam?
Yes. When using a computer on an exam, the Law School requires the use of Extegrity's Exam4, software which blocks access to the network and your locally-stored files. Exam4 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) through 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
More information about Exam4 can be found at Extegrity's website.
Can the Law School loan me a laptop?
No, but laptops are available for loan from UW Classroom Support Services.
How do I use email at the Law School?
The School of Law's email services are provided and maintained by UW-IT, whose website provides more information.
How do I configure my email program?
UW-IT's website offers configuration instructions for many commonly-used email programs.
What happens to my UW email account after I graduate?
Information about retaining access to your UW email account after graduation is provided on the UW Alumni Association website.
Does UW provide students with anti-virus software?
Yes. Law School students are strongly encouraged to install Sophos Anti-Virus on their computers, which is provided free to all current students by UW-IT.
Before installing Sophos Anti-Virus on your computer, you will need to
first uninstall any antivirus software that may already be present on
your system. The use of multiple antivirus programs on
a system can negatively impact its stability and performance. Many
systems come with preinstalled antivirus software that expires after a
period of time, at which point you have to purchase an update subscription. There isn't a need
to spend your money to renew a trial version of antivirus software - use
Sophos instead, which is provided to you for free by the University.
What should I do if my system has a virus?
Lawhelp will provide technical support to properly disinfect your
system. If your system is running outdated or expired antivirus software
- or no antivirus software whatsoever - we will install Sophos Anti-Virus
to protect your system against future infections. This service is
provided because of the impact that an infected system can have on the
Law School and/or University network as a whole.
Do I need to keep my Windows-based computer updated with the latest security patches?
Yes. Because of the heterogeneous nature of the student computing environment, Technology Services cannot provide the student body with the same level of support that it provides faculty and staff. Considering this, it is the responsibility of the student to properly update and secure their systems.
We strongly recommend that you update your Windows system at http://update.microsoft.com prior to your first use of the UW network.
Doing so will help keep your Windows system protected from the ever increasing number of threats and software exploits that it is susceptible to when on the internet. The following resources provide instructions and recommendations for keeping a Windows system up-to-date with the proper patches and service packs:
In the event that a student system is compromised or affected by an unpatched security vulnerability, Lawhelp will provide technical support to properly repair the system. This service is provided because of the impact that an affected system can have on the Law School and/or University network as a whole; in some cases, UW-IT must block a compromised system from accessing the UW network. The owner of the blocked system will need to contact Lawhelp to properly clean and patch the system so it may again be allowed access to the network.
How do I request a recording of my class?
Information about class recordings can be found here. The recording request form is linked at the upper right of the page.
How do I subscribe to podcasts?
To subscribe to podcasts using iTunes, follow these step-by-step instructions:
How do I program my clicker to work in Gates Hall classrooms?
Clickers (or response cards) can be programmed by following these instructions:
|Channel Guide for Gates Hall Classrooms
What is a UW NetID, and how do I get one?
Your UW NetID is your personal identification for using UW online resources. A UW NetID is required of everyone associated with the University of Washington who plans on using online central administrative programs and computing services. Your UW NetID ensures the privacy of your personal information and restricts the use of resources to those for whom they are intended.
Your UW NetID remains the same throughout your life, no matter what associations you have with the University of Washington.
Once your seat deposit has been processed, you may setup your UW NetID . To do so, visit https://uwnetid.washington.edu/newid/.You will need to enter your Star Private Access Code. If you don't know or remember this code, call the Registration Office at 206-543-8580 for assistance.
Additional information and support for your UW NetID is available at http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/accounts/
How do I access the server storage space that the UW provides to students?
Storage space is available via the UW Google Apps and UW Windows Live services. More information about these resources can be found here.
Information on creating a webpage within University-provided server space can be found at http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/web/#choices.
In addition, File Manager, a tool within the UW's web-based Catalyst software suite, provides students with 1.5GB of space for storing files and streaming media. Using a web browser, File Manager allows students to easily download and upload files from storage space that's accessible from any computer on the Internet. More information about File Manager can be found at http://cat-plone2.cac.washington.edu/catalyst/web_tools/filemanager.
What is the School of Law's technical support policy for students?
Technology Services provides comprehensive support for software and services that students need to utilize to fulfill their academic responsibilities. Since there is no Law School-mandated computer requirement, the decision to own a laptop or desktop system is entirely up to a student themselves. Because of this, the scope of support that Technology Services provides to students only covers that which is directly necessitated by course requirements and other academic matters. Additionally, the department provides students with technical support for issues that affect the stability and security of the UW network and/or other resources that the Law School or University community rely on as a whole.
Technology Services cannot offer students assistance for hardware issues (physical problems with laptop or desktop components). Unlike faculty and staff hardware, no standard is enforced for student hardware. While it would be ideal to be able to offer comprehensive hardware support to all members of the Law School community, Technology Services does not have the resources necessary to support a heterogeneous hardware environment. However, while not a resource for the resolution of hardware issues, Technology Services can provide you with general advice and basic, high-level diagnoses for hardware-related issues. You can in turn use this information when contacting an equipment manufacturer or other appropriate repair service to resolve your issue.
How do I contact technical support?
Since different campus organizations maintain the technology in use at the Law School, refer to this document to determine who to contact.
How do I use the William Gates Hall wireless network?
For information about using the William Gates Hall wireless network, please see
What should I do if my access to the wireless network is blocked?
In some cases, UW-IT must block a compromised system from accessing the UW network in order to protect
other networked systems. For more information, please see
How do I use the UW network if I don't have access to a system with a wireless card?
For network security purposes, there are no network jacks available for public use in William Gates Hall. However, if you are living on campus, your room will most likely be wired for Ethernet-based network connectivity. Contact Housing and Food Services at http://hfs.washington.edu/ with any questions or problems regarding the network jack in your room. Additionally, the School of Law's computer lab and other computer labs on campus provide systems with internet access for student use.
Law School Lab & Printers
Is there a computer lab available for law student use?
Yes. The Law Student Computer Lab, located in William Gates Hall room 222, has 6 PCs available, a pay-per-job printer that is part of the campus-wide Pharos printing system, and a self-service document/image scanner. Your student ID card is required to enter the lab, and all computers are available on a first-come first-serve basis.
The lab computers are configured with the following software:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3
Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Acrobat Reader 9
Internet Explorer 7
The Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library (William Gates Hall floors L1 and L2) also provides public computer terminals with internet access. Three terminals are also located in the student lounge in L113. Additionally, a list of other computer labs on the UW campus is located at http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/labs/.
How can I print documents to Law School printers?
The Law School uses the campus pay-per-job printing system, aka Dawg Prints. Dawg Prints-maintained printers are available at the following locations:
- Law Student Computer Lab - room 222
- Law Library - room L114
The Dawg Prints printing software, installation instructions, and a guide to configuring your system for wireless printing can be found at the Dawg Prints website
Where do I go for questions about my Husky card?
Please contact the Law School Building Coordinator at