back to the keyboard/screen size comments...
i hate to sound like a fanboy, but the thinkpad keyboards are simply outstanding. and yes, it is true, you'll probably be getting a little more familiar with your laptop than you'd like to. make sure you get something you'll be happy with, or deal with a manufacturer with a reasonable return policy.
and a warranty which will last through law school (or at least year-to-year, depending on who you go with) is essential
. laptops seem to throw in the towel at the absolute worst of times, and i know classmates who have lost a full semester's worth of briefs, outline work, writing assignments, etc. which brings me to my next point, back up often!
seriously though, make sure that your laptop's hardware is covered. and by the way, for what it's worth, i would be extremely cautious with the best buy/circuit city "warranties." sure, they'll cover you.. but one of those forementioned classmates had to go laptop-less for 2 weeks while it was sent away for repair. "we'll give you a new one if anything happens!" my ass, make sure you know what you're signing up for.
ok that's my "random fact dissemination" post of the day, please drive through!
edit: as a sidenote, i started this year with a mac g4 powerbook. due to continued frustrations (and in my opinion, a lack of useful software, at least as far as law is concerned), i sold it and kicked over to the ibm x40 that i'm using now. my laptop shipped with a poopsandwich of a hard drive, which soon died. i went two days without my laptop and had a new one at no charge. inconvenient? yep... but nearly worth the $100 i paid to extend the warranty, right off the bat, without having to hassle with them about whether the drive was defective from the factory, or not.