Globally, a law degree is seen as ‘prestigious’. And that is perhaps it is the first step to some important career paths – including a career as a solicitor, barrister, or judge. But while many universities around the world offer law programs, some rank higher than others.
Nairametrics hereby presents the top 10 global universities with the best law programs, courtesy of the Times Higher Education’s latest subject rankings.
The top 10 list is dominated by law schools in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, as you can see below.
#10. KU Leuven, Belgium
The university was established in 1425 and has become one of Europe’s leading research institutions. The Faculty of Law has over 5000 students and a diverse curriculum. Many alumni hold prominent positions in the Belgian central and regional government, as well as in the European and international communities.
The Faculty of Law, like the rest of the university, emphasizes an international and comparative approach to law and criminology education. The Faculty is also strongly involved in the ERASMUS scholarship program, with agreements with universities in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and Japan.
#9. Yale University, United States
The intellectual life at Yale Law School consists of dozens of centers, programs, special projects, and workshops that pursue critical scholarly work and make a difference in communities around the country and the world.
The Yale Law School faculty has prominent scholars of economics, philosophy, and history, as well as leading specialists in every area of law. Notable alumni include Bill Clinton (1973), the 42nd President of the United States, and Gerald Ford (1941), the 38th President of the United States, 1974–1977.
#8. National University of Singapore
The wide variety of disciplines offered by the University of Singapore Law program is one of its strengths. In addition to a demanding core curriculum, students can select electives in other fields like public international law, intellectual property, banking and finance, Asian legal studies, arbitration, and jurisprudence. The Faculty also provides several dual degree programs that combine law and business, economics, public policy, and the life sciences.
There are now roughly 1000 undergraduate and 200 graduate students enrolled in the law faculty. Over 90% of graduate students and about 10% of undergraduate students are from more than 35 nations across Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Oceania.
#7. Harvard University, United States
Harvard Law School is the oldest law school in America and has the world’s largest academic law library. It was founded in 1817 and currently offers over 500 courses and seminars. HLS currently has more than 100 student organizations and journals. Workshops, panels, concerts, networking opportunities, and conferences are planned by student organizations based on a variety of personal or professional interests.
More than 40,000 members of the HLS alumni network are transformative leaders from all over the world. Among the notable Harvard law school alumni are Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, and Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States.
#6. University College London (UCL), United Kingdom
UCL’s Law faculty is a community of legal scholars informed by a rich philosophical heritage and a history of producing research that lends a clear voice to global conversations.
UCL Laws are known for their research quality because the faculty believes that research should make a difference in the way people think about law, practice law, and administer justice. Its scholarship is truly interdisciplinary and global, drawing on theory, doctrine, and social science.
Notable alumni include Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was called to the bar of England and Wales by Gray’s Inn; the leader of India’s independence movement, and India’s “Father of the Nation.” Taslim Olawale Elias GCON of Nigeria is also an alumnus of the Faculty of Law.
#5. University of Melbourne, Australia
The University of Melbourne’s law school is rated as the best in Australia according to rankings. The faculty’s 2022 curriculum includes inputs from international specialists and Australian practitioners from various sectors of the legal profession. There are almost 160 subjects available, 26 specialized legal areas, and 41 courses, with a diversified teaching staff made up of both foreign experts and Australian practitioners.
The law program also features 15 new legal subjects, such as:
- Aging and Human Rights
- Science and AI: Legal and Ethical Challenges
- Executive Power
- Global Digital Tax
- Press Freedom and National Security
- Superannuation Law and Regulation, and many others
#4. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
The University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law is one of the world’s top law schools. The faculty offers courses that help students to develop their understanding of legal reasoning so they can critically analyze legal situations. Students are also encouraged to present and debate their interpretations of the law.
Alumni from the schools are thought leaders in their fields and role models for lawyers all over the world. Sir Tony Blair, Sir William Blackstone, and many other notable alumni of the Faculty of Law.
#3. New York University, United States
With particular expertise in law and philosophy, economics, politics, history, and social theory, NYU Law is at the vanguard of interdisciplinary research and instruction. Students engage in experiential learning and gain a deeper grasp of real-world issues.
The faculty provides one with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience defending clients in fields as diverse as immigration and innovation through the schools’ 40+ clinics and externships. The school also boasts more than 80 student organizations on campus.
#2. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Law Faculty has approximately 700 undergraduate and 250 graduate students. Former and current members of the International Court of Justice, former judges of the European Court of Justice, several members of the English Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and judges on numerous appellate courts throughout the world are among the judicial alumni.
Cambridge University boasts of alumni which include Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Archbishops and Monarchs of the United Kingdom, including Wole Soyinka, and many others. The University and its affiliates have received more Nobel prizes than any other institution in the world.
#1. Stanford University, United States
At 7.3:1, Stanford Law School has one of the lowest student-to-staff ratios in the United States of America. Its law students run more than 50 student organizations, including the Law and Wine society, Stanford Law Students for Gender Violence Prevention, Women in Politics, and the Black Law Students Association, and are home to 12 legal journals. The Law courses at Stanford cover criminal law, contracts, tort, and legal research and writing. Stanford’s Robert Crown Law Library houses approximately 500,000 books.
David L. Anderson (1990), United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, Sian Elias (JSM 1972), Chief Justice of New Zealand, and many others are notable alumni.
Editors Note: This ranking was derived from the World University Ranking 2022 by Times Higher Education.