UC Berkeley reserves the right to deny access to its electronic communications network to any devices that do not meet its standards for security. These standards can be found here:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, campus created the Student Technology Equity Program (STEP) to lend laptops and other equipment for long-term periods of time to students while they were studying from home. The program is still active for the 2022-2023 academic year. The STEP program generally makes lending decisions based on proof of financial need. Details and the application form can be found at the link - we do not know any details about the current state of the program here in Student Computing.
Other laptop/device lending programs and information on campus can also be found at this link. The main campus library system does offer some loaner laptops for students to check out. The law library and law school do not offer any loaner laptops to our students.
Any laptop bought within the last 2-3 years should serve you adequately during your time at Berkeley Law. It is highly recommended that new laptop purchases include a multi-year warranty/service plan, or as long of a warranty as you can get.
Some computers, accessories, and academic and popular software for students may be available for purchase through the Cal Student Store. UC Berkeley students are eligible for competitive discounts on online purchases from major retailers.
Berkeley Law provides broad support to laptops running the English-language versions of modern Windows and Macintosh operating systems, and provides narrower support to other operating systems and to mobile devices. We do not provide hardware support.
We expect students to ensure that their laptops adhere to the Minimum Security Standard guidelines (see left). In particular, students should be aware of the campus requirements for the timely installation of software updates/patches.
Many people start thinking about backing up their data about 10 minutes after it's too late to do any good. If you only realize that you need a backup after your laptop crashes, you're setting yourself up for a data disaster! Are you prepared to lose all of your schoolwork? What would you do if your entire collection of digital photos disappeared tomorrow? Do you have backup copies of your electronically-filed tax return or your crucial correspondence?
Fortunately, backing up your essential files is neither difficult nor time-consuming. The whole process can take as little as 10 minutes per week, and you can let your computer do the work for you. For Windows, you can use File History backups to back up your data to an external hard drive. On Macs, Time Machine will automate the backup process to an external hard drive for you.
Apps from Google, Box, DropBox, OneDrive, and more will also allow you to automatically back up selected folders on your computer to the cloud. All Berkeley students receive a large amount of free storage from Google while enrolled - for more information on automatically backing up your files to bDrive, see the bDrive section under the Laptop tab in this computing guide.
The simplest method of backing up your files is to make a manual copy to an external hard drive, USB key, CD/DVD, or some sort of web/cloud storage. bDrive gives all students a large amount of online storage which can be used to manually or automatically back up important files and access them from any computer where you have access to the internet.