There is this funny and extremely pervasive impression of laptop usage in law schools. It’s not all faculty, but many consider them to be almost inherently evil and counter productive. Any student using a laptop must be on Facebook, must be surfing the web, etc. And that any student who does any of those things at all is not getting as much out of class as he or she could without a laptop.
Now, in no way do I dispute the possibility – the extreme likelihood, in fact – that students with a laptop in front of them will surf the web, go on facebook, etc. At some point during class. I do maybe once or twice out of my two classes per night (so that’s about 3 hours, FWIW, with 3-4 visits total or so to non-course-related sites…honestly). But just because a student may do that doesn’t mean that all students do it, or that they all do it all the time. In other words, it doesn’t mean that laptops are evil and counter-productive unto themselves.
For only the second time and only in the last few months, here’s a research article indicating that laptops might actually be helpful, specifically in a law school setting. This is a pretty big deal.