Should You Buy a Law School Backpack?

Tips for Selecting the Best Carryall for Law School

Back view of young man with backpack pushing his bike
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If you are starting law school in the fall, you've probably realized that your textbooks are big, heavy, and tough to carry around. In addition to those massive books, you'll also need to carry around a laptop, power cord, at least one large textbook, school supplies (like highlighters and pens), a notebook, keys, wallet, glasses (because if your eyes haven’t gone bad before law school, just you wait), cell phone and possibly a lunch bag. You'll also need somewhere to carry necessities such as your wallet, sunglasses, reading glasses, cell phone, sunblock, and water.

As a law student, you're well past the age of Spiderman backpacks. But you're still a student, and you're still lugging heavy loads from point A to point B all day long. At some universities, law classes are held in multiple buildings, and those buildings are often far from dorms and cafeterias. What's the best option for carrying large loads as an adult student?

Consider Your Backpack Options

Backpacks have a lot of advantages. Most importantly, they allow you to carry a large load efficiently and comfortably while still having the use of your hands. 

Is the backpack terribly professional? Probably not, although there are definitely professional backpacks out there. But while you are in school, of more importance is whether the bag functions well, is sturdy, and reflects your image and personality.

As a student in the 21st century, you will need a backpack with a padded laptop sleeve to protect that all-important computer. Timbuk2 backpacks are indestructible and offer a lifetime warranty. There is also a wide range of other options out there that may be a good match for your law student persona. Do be aware that good looks and sturdy construction don't always go together, so it's a good idea to try out your backpack in person rather than buying online.

Bags on Wheels

Not all law students are muscular, and lugging a heavy backpack can actually cause back injuries. If you're concerned about the weight of all you're going to be carrying around, you might want to consider a bag on wheels. They may not be the chicest option, but they definitely get points for function.

This type of bag doesn’t need to break the bank. You can invest in one for as little as $40 or one that is a bit fancier for $92. Again, remember that law school isn’t a law office, and you don’t have to be professional all the time. Just find something that you feel good lugging around and will meet all your needs.

Should You Consider a Messenger Bag?

Messenger bags are cute rectangular bags worn across the body. They look great and can carry a fair amount of cargo.

There are two problems with messenger bags in law school. The first problem is simply the amount of stuff you end up carrying around. It can be hard to fit books, laptop, accessories, and necessities in a bag that will rest on one shoulder. The second problem relates to weight distribution. If you have a long way to walk from home to school, you might want to think about whether or not your back can take the uneven weight of the messenger bag. 

The Bottom Line

There's no "best" bag to carry in law school. Just be yourself and find something that will work for you. You will have plenty going on starting school, so don’t stress out about whether or not you have the right bag. You may have a bag at home you can use and not even worry about buying a new one. But if you are shopping around, just think through your purchasing decisions.