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Information Technology

Vanderbilt Law School implements the latest technologies to support the educational and research mission of the school by incorporating technology into teaching, research, scholarly activities and administrative functions.

 

IT help      > Submit a Tech Help request

 

Computer Recommendations for Students

Although VLS does not have a mandatory computer requirement, owning a laptop is strongly recommended. Wireless coverage is available throughout the school and outdoor areas.

IT computer recommendationsPurchase Recommendations

If you plan to purchase a laptop, we recommend either Dell (PC) or Apple (Mac) systems. The IT team provides minor hardware assistance for most systems but major warranty replacement and assistance with Dell and Apple laptops which are covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Support is provided for hardware and software issues relating to the operating system or software/applications related to academic purposes.

When purchasing a system, these are the system specifications we recommend:

  • Solid State Hard Drive: minimum size: 128GB

Solid State drives offer increased speed and performance and are less prone to failure

  • 4GB RAM Minimum

Most new systems will offer more at a minimum but the above RAM size should be enough

The above specifications are the most important when choosing a device and most other options are negligible or fairly standard across devices, such as screen size, keyboard type or wireless speeds. Most manufacturers only differ in the above two specification items

Regardless of brand, we strongly recommend purchasing a 3-year warranty for your new laptop:

  • Dell: Three-year CompleteCare

This covers accidental damage and all other hardware failures

  • Apple: Three-year AppleCare coverage

Does not provide accidental damage protection but does provide extended hardware and software support

Exam software compatibility information

The Exam4 software used for all exams will limit supported operating systems: Windows and Mac OS X/macOS; ChromeOS is NOT supported by the makers of Exam4. No exceptions are made by the software vendor and therefore the IT team cannot provide support for non-approved operating systems.

Exam4 (the exam software used by Vanderbilt Law School) supports Windows 7-10 and Mac OS X 10.9.5 "Mavericks" through 10.12 or "Sierra."

Discounts

  • Educational discounts for VLS students are available from: Dell and Apple.

For questions or if you need technical assistance, please stop by the VLS IT office in room 312 of the law library or submit a Tech Help request.


The IT staff maintains a state-of-the-art computing services environment to support teaching, research, collaboration and communication

Chris Bransford   Scott Nelsen   Dane Vick   Jake Kasinger
Chris Bransford, MBA, MCTS, ITIL
Manager, End User Services
chris.bransford@vanderbilt.edu
  Scott Nelsen, ACMT, MCDST
Lead Technical Support Specialist
scott.nelsen@vanderbilt.edu
  Dane Vick
Sr. Technical Support Specialist
dane.vick@vanderbilt.edu
  Jake Kasinger
Sr. Media Support Specialist
jake.kasinger@vanderbilt.edu

IT Services

The Audio/Visual Services unit of the VUIT department provides a multitude of offerings to support the pedagogical mission of the school through the use of technology in the classroom and other collaborative services. The Audio/Visual Services Department offers the following services:

  • Videotaping
  • Audio Taping
  • Classroom Audio Amplification
  • Videoconference via IP Connection and Skype
  • VHS to DVD Transfer
  • Data Projection both LCD and Document Camera
  • Telephone Audio Conference
  • Remote Presenters for Powerpoint
  • Hosting streaming media
  • Classroom DVD/VHS/CD/Cassette Tape Playback

Any needed or additional services may be requested by visiting:
http://techhelp.law.vanderbilt.edu/

*Please note that Audio/Visual equipment is not available for check out outside of the Law School.

 

How to Connect Your VU EMail:

iPhone/iPad/iOS

Android

All mobile OSes are supported for syncing VU email. 

If you have trouble adding your VU email to your device, please enter a Tech Help Request or stop by the VUIT office in room 312 of the Law Library.

You may also be eligible for a discount on a cell phone with your Vanderbilt ID. Please go here to see if you are eligible.

IT Support Hours & Policy

The VUIT staff are generally available for walk-in support Monday through Friday between 8:00am-5:00pm. Occasionally, due to an emergency or the scheduling of a VUIT staff meeting, support may not be immediately available. For non-emergency requests or those not requiring in-person support, please submit your request using the online Tech Help Request form.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure all data is backed up prior to receiving service. While the VUIT staff take precautions to avoid data loss they are not responsible in the event data is lost.

Network Drives Overview (Faculty & Staff)

In the event a member of the Faculty or Staff must work from home or a remote location, they can still gain access to the network drives.  This guide provides detailed instructions on how to install the Junos Pulse VPN (Virtual Private Network) client and steps to connect to the network drives.  Support is provided for Macintosh OS-X, Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

G:  (Library)
This drive is used by Law Library staff members only.

K:  (Departments)
This drive is used for storing data common among the staff of a department. For instance, Admissions and other departments have a folder on this drive that only they can access — and that all members of that department can jointly access. As an example, rather than emailing a document around a department, documents can be shared easily by storing them on this drive.

M: (Faculty)
The faculty drive is a collection of folders, one per faculty member. A faculty member’s folder on this drive can be jointly accessed by the faculty member and their support staff. Access to faculty folders on this drive is based on the support staff assignments for each faculty member. Overrides (support staff requiring access to a faculty member they do not typically support) can only be approved by the faculty member or Renee Hawkins, the Support Staff Coordinator. The VUIT department will not honor a request for access outside of these guidelines (we will contact the faculty and/or Renee if the request is not initially from one of them).

P: (Personal)
Each faculty and staff member at VLS has their own unique personal drive. The data on this drive is private and not shared with other individuals. Data stored here are of a personal, but work-related nature. For instance, data you might store here could be personnel reviews, budget planning information, etc.  The Personal drive is not intended to store personal information of a non-work-related nature (photos of your family, music files and the like).

R:  (Research)
The research drive is a collection of folders for collaborative research or project work in order to share documents/files with members of the research team or project team. An example would be data storage where one or more faculty members need to share data with research assistants or each other in a confidential manner.

S: (Shared)
The Shared drive is perhaps the most vaguely named drive, but it does have a specific purpose in mind. This drive is shared among ALL faculty and staff members and anyone can add data to the drive, or delete data from the drive. Data stored here is intended to be temporary in nature in transit to a new home. For example, a support staff member may have a dozen documents to give to another support staff member. Instead of emailing those to them, clogging inboxes and using quota, they can put them on S: and the other staff member can go get them from S: and place them in a more appropriate location (such as M: or P:).  Every few months the IT department scans this drive and contacts the creators of various files/folders requesting they be moved or deleted.

T:  (Photos)
This drive is used for storing digital photo assets for VLS media use. Content is generally managed by the Communications department and is often shared with others as needed.

Recycling Rechargeable Batteries

Do you have used or worn-out rechargeable batteries that you want to recycle? Visit SustainVU to find a drop-off location near you.

General Information

Dell and Apple Laptop Discount Program

VLS and Dell have partnered to offer students a significant discount on Dell notebooks and other Dell computing equipment.

VLS and Apple have also partnered to offer students a significant discount on Apple notebooks and other Apple computing equipment. Please see the Computer Recommendation website for more details on this program. 

Discount pricing for Dell computers.
Discount pricing for Apple computers.

Laptop Issues

Generally, VUIT staff members are available Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm. The office may be closed for staff meetings and emergency situations where all VUIT staff are deployed to correct system-wide issues.  You can obtain support in two ways:

  • If you have a general question that does not require our staff to see your laptop, we suggest completing the online form.
  • You can visit our office in Room 312 of the Law School.

Skype for Business Conference Call Instructions

  1. In Outlook 2013, click New Items in the top left near File/Home
  2. Choose Skype Meeting from the menu that appears
  3. Enter the email addresses or select the names needed from the VU address book
  4. Enter the date, time, subject and location as needed
  5. Click Meeting Options to designate or alter the presenter of the Skype Meeting
    • External attendees cannot be designated as presenters (or leaders)
    • If no alteration is needed for the presenter, no further changes are necessary 
  6. Two options are available from the Meeting Options dialog box
    1. A New Meeting Space (I control permissions)
      • ​Choose this option to set a different presenter for the Skype Meeting
      • Under Who's a presenter?, select the appropriate option or person as the presenter/leader 
      • If no specific presenter should be selected, choose Anyone (no restrictions)
      • Again, external, non-VU attendees cannot be designated as presenters (or leaders)
      • To allow INTERNAL (non-VU) participants to join and not be placed on hold if joining early, select Anyone (no restrictions)
      • All external (non-VU) callers will be placed on hold (in the lobby) until an authenticated, internal Vanderbilt University caller has joined the conference
      • Or until a caller on the conference has identified themself as a leader using a pre-created PIN (see below for details on creating a PIN)
    2. My Dedicated Meeting Space (less secure)<--Default option
      • If a different leader/presenter does not need to be selected and can be left as the person creating the Skype Meeting, this option can be left at its default
      • This means that the Skype Meeting can have attendees join but it will not begin until the presenter/leader joins or an authenticated, Vanderbilt University caller has joined the call
      • The default presenter/leader will be the person creating the Skype Meeting, such as a faculty support staff member creating a conference call for a faculty member
  7. Once all options are selected, press Send
  8. The meeting will be placed on the sender's calendar
  9. Once the attendee receives and accepts the invitation, the appointment/invite/meeting will add to any default, active calendar associated with the email account that recieved the invitation, such as Android, iPhone, Mac Mail, Windows Mail or any other active email client
  10. When attendees accept the meeting, notifications for acceptance will arrive to the sender's mailbox as well

Important Notes

  • When the call is placed by the attendees, the voice prompt for the conference call may ask the caller to press * if he/she is the leader
  • This occurs if the call is placed on a phone that is NOT a VU/Lync/Polycom phone associated with a Vanderbilt University user
  • If the call is placed using the current Polycom conference call units used in some classrooms and some meeting rooms, it will not identify the caller as an authenticated, Vanderbilt University user and leader PIN will be required
  • This may also occur if external, non-VU attendees call in prior to the leader/organizer joining the call or no Vanderbilt University users have joined the call
  • A PIN is required to be designated as the leader
  • This PIN can be set prior to the meeting time here: https://dialin.vanderbilt.edu/  
  • If the meeting options are altered to keep attendees on hold until the leader/organizer arrives on the conference call, then the PIN is required if the leader calls from a phone that is not their associated VU/Lync/Polycom phone
  • All external, non-VU callers attending the conference call, should be instructed to ignore any prompts regarding the leader if needing to clarify this for the attendees

 

All pertinent information for how to join the Skype Meeting will be included in the email to the recipients.

  • In that email, phone numbers for the Skype Meeting are listed and that call can be placed directly from any telephone or cell phone using any of the numbers provided in the email.

  • The email additionally includes a direct link to Join Skype Meeting using the Skype for Business app or desktop client

  • If any of the attendees are on Skype for Business and are Vanderbilt University users, that link can be used. The call will be routed without dialing a number or entering a Conference ID.

  • This email can be edited or changed prior to sending to the attendees if needed to increase clarity on how the call is placed or to better illustrate the Conference ID

If any assistance is needed in creating the conference call, please enter a Tech Help Request at:

http://techhelp.law.vanderbilt.edu

 

To add additional recipients after initial scheduling:

  1. Go to Calendar in Outlook 2013
  2. Double click the scheduled Skype Meeting
  3. Add the needed recipients
  4. Press Send Update

An invitation/email will send to the new recipients

 

If these instructions appear incorrect or differ from what is available in your Outlook client, your version of Microsoft Office may need to be upgraded.

Please enter a Tech Help Request to have your client upgraded if needed.​​​

VLS students have no set allotment​ or restrictions on printing.

Install/Manage your VLS Printer (Students)

Research Assistant Printing

Research assistants can print to the student printers for free from personal devices using the above instructions as well. Printing for RAs is to the same printers. 

But to use this service, RAs must have an account with proper access to the printers or it should be created by the VUIT staff.

Click here to learn how to add the research assistant printer to your laptop.

Safe Computing Practices​

It's important to follow these safety guidelines to protect your identity (including your online identity), your computer itself, and your data:

  • Physically secure your laptop. Either take it with you or use a security cable and lock it to your chair/desk.
  • Lock your computer when you walk away. Simply press the Windows Key + L on a Windows-powered laptop. Mac users can view a guide on locking using one of two methods.
  • Backup your data. Systems fail. Systems are stolen. Users make mistakes. Protect yourself against all three with a routine backup of your data. You can even back it up online with a service like CrashPlan, CarboniteMozy or SkyDrive. If using a Mac, it is recommended to use iCloud to sync your data or use Apple's built-in backup program, Time Machine
  • Update your operating system. Windows users should use Windows Update (in the Start menu) and Mac users should use Software Update (in the Apple-Logo menu). Ignoring important updates can lead to system instability.
  • If you need assistance installing updates or with setting up any of the above or below items, feel free to stop by the VUIT office in room 312 or enter a Tech Help request here.

 Security Links:

Vanderbilt University offers discount pricing on software for faculty, staff, and students. Please visit the Vanderbilt Software Store for pricing/purchase information.

If any issues occur while trying to access or install the above content, please enter a Tech Help Request or stop by the IT office in room 312 of the Law Library.