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Laptop Program Service Recognized

October 10, 2006

The Law School's in-house, Law Student Computing Services Center (LSCS) team, which includes Ben Johnson, Dan Kane, and Erin Warhol, has been recognized by the Lenovo Corporation for providing outstanding service during the Spring 2006 semester.  LSCS has received a plaque, which is on display in the waiting area of the LSCS.

The staff at LSCS, an IBM-certified repair center, works with IBM to fix the student laptops onsite, rather than sending the laptops to the IBM repair depot.  LSCS covers all parts and labor under warranty and, after a deductible, replaces laptops in the event of loss, theft, and fire.

LSCS is open in the library during normal hours for walk-in support weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to answer any questions students have about their laptops and software.  A lab monitor also works in the 4th floor computer lab during weekends to assist with after-hour issues.

In addition to repairing and replacing laptops, LSCS also provides students with training on the use of the laptop and the Law School network.  Students receive instruction on how to connect to the wireless network, configure email accounts, access storage space on the Law School servers, configure dial-up modem access, and access the Law School's high-speed LaserJet printers. 

The University of Minnesota Law School implemented the laptop program in Fall 2004. Under the program,  first-year students lease a new laptop to use for the duration of their legal education at the Law School.  The laptop is fully configured, and includes all of the computing tools necessary for a successful law school education. The laptops have the leading OS and software suite consisting of Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook), Symantec AntiVirus, Westlaw and LexisNexis search tools, and Cisco VPN software to facilitate connecting to the Law School network from home. When students graduate, they have the option of purchasing their laptop.

The purpose of the laptop program is to provide the computing hardware and software best suited to the Law School's teaching and testing environments.  The program also evens the playing field for students in terms of the technology used at the Law School.  Standardized equipment and software help to control potential damage done by hackers, and also saves Law School technology staff time in diagnosing and fixing student problems.  By ensuring that students have similar software programs, the laptop program also facilitates the installation of ExamSoft, the software installed on laptops for use during final exams.  Students now download their exams and use ExamSoft to complete exams.

Congratulations to Ben Johnson, Dan Kane, and Erin Warhol on this accomplishment!