Technology & First Year Law Students

Every year at the UVic Faculty of Law we have our 1st year students fill out a survey, which among other things, asks them about the technology that they are bringing with them into law schools. It is interesting to see the trends over the three years that we have been administering the survery (see the PDF for the charts that tell the story). Some of the highlights are:

  • 2 students out of the 104 surveyed do not have access to either a laptop or a computer at home.
  • 86% of students own laptops, and 86% of those laptops are wireless.
  • The average price of laptops purchased dropped from $2070 to $1677 over the past year.
  • 5 students asked for some sort of a group purchase plan (in the comments section of the survey).
  • 88% of students with computers or laptops have access to high speed internet at home.

I can remember a story that my brother told me from when he started working for Lawson & Lundell in Vancouver in the early 1980’s. Soon after starting work there he went to the managing partner and asked if he could have a desktop comptuer to help him with his work. The managing partner replyed to him that he could see no reason for him to have a computer since they were already providing him with a secretary to do his typing! Within four or five years almost all the partners had computers on their desks.


  1. Thank you for sharing, Rich. These results are very interesting. Would you ever consider or have the need for asking about other technology such as PDAs, cell phones and MP3 players/recorders? I’m wonder if students have found “work arounds” with smaller, less expensive devices? Also, if the school would need to adapt to other technologies in the future?

  2. In answer to Connie’s response, one of the strategic directions for UVic Law is to make our webpages readable on PDA’s and to explore the future of PDA’s and similar devices in Law School Computing. Any suggestions of studies, papers, etc. in this area, or ideas most welcome, to either Rich McCue or myself.