The mission of the Information Technology Department is to provide the UNC School of Law community with the technological tools and services required to excel as learners, educators and scholars, and to leverage information and communication technologies to promote the school's reputation for excellence, its sense of community, and its commitment to teaching and learning, ethical values, public service and legal scholarship.
The following topics are among the most common that new and prospective students are interested in. Additional information and resources are available to enrolled students via the law school's internal site (see My Carolina Law below).
While not required, many students find that a laptop is a vital tool for succeeding in law school. One of the most important reasons students choose to own a laptop is to be able to take exams electronically. Professors prefer that students complete exams electronically, although a select few have a no-laptop policy during class. The IT department offers students the option to check out laptops for exams and at other times, as needed, but strongly encourages students to arrive with their own mobile computers.
While you are a student at UNC Law, you are entitled to a free UNC student e-mail account (HeelMail), which you can access via UNC's webmail system from your own laptop or home computer, as well as from computers located around the law school, law library or from any public terminal with Internet access. Although many students elect to keep Gmail, Yahoo and other external e-mail addresses, all students are expected to forward messages or check their UNC mail account regularly since it is considered the official e-mail point of contact.
Learning Management System (LMS)
UNC and Carolina Law currently use both the Blackboard and Sakai learning management systems to distribute course materials and information to students. Students are enrolled in these course sites at the time of registration. The University is undergoing a transition away from Blackboard to Sakai, and by spring 2013, Sakai will be the only LMS at UNC.
Access to Law Databases
The Carolina Law Library (http://library.law.unc.edu/) provides access for law school students, staff and faculty to a number of legal databases, including LexisNexis and Westlaw. Most law students use these resources heavily.
There is wireless connectivity throughout the building, including all floors of the law library and in all classrooms and common areas. The campus's secure wireless networks (UNC-Secure, which provides extra security because it encrypts data, and UNC-1) are only accessible to students who have registered their wireless devices via the Onyen services homepage (http://onyen.unc.edu/). Wired connectivity is also available throughout the building, although most students rely exclusively on the wireless network.
My Carolina Law
Carolina Law has an internal site, My Carolina Law. Through this site, students can stay informed about events, news and upcoming deadlines at Carolina Law, and request that online calendar items be added, visit student organization sites, seek IT support and read law news blogs. My Carolina Law contains a wealth of other valuable information for currently enrolled students and is considered a daily go-to page among not only the student body but also faculty and staff.
Technology in Classrooms
Carolina Law classrooms employ many standard instructional technologies, including audience response systems (i.e., "clickers"), automated audio and video lecture capture (popular among students), data projectors, document cameras, DVD players, and hearing assistance systems.
The School of Law owns three portable Polycom video conferencing systems and also supports Skype audio and video conferencing. These technologies are available for many uses, including long-distance interviews with prospective employers, remote guest speakers for class sessions and virtual office hours.