Best Law Schools in the World in 2023 -

Best Law Schools in the World in 2023

Searching for the best law school in the world to kick off a promising career? Obtaining a law degree from a prestigious institution usually comes with higher employment outcomes. Graduates from top law universities in the world are known to become Supreme Court justices and clerks, prominent business leaders, or heads of state.

Thus, attending one of the best law universities in the world grants you a competitive advantage and leads to a successful legal career. At the very least, it portrays a stellar academic record and phenomenal critical thinking skills that grant you access to a highly esteemed school. In this article, we’ve included the top law schools from Times Higher Education to help you narrow down your options.

An overview to the top 20 law universities in the World

Here are the key takeaways from our analysis. First, the US has more than half of the world’s top law schools (7), with Stanford being the most elite one on the planet. However, gaining access to those schools as an international student is challenging since the competition is fierce. Second, comes the UK, holding 6 out of 20 positions in top law schools in the world. Its universities are equally prestigious, but the admission process is more approachable.

Farther down the list, we encounter Australian and Canadian universities. These countries offer a stellar quality of life and multiple English programs for international students. However, the high tuition fees and the cost of living might push candidates in different directions. We also encounter a Belgian university among the top 20 law schools. Europe enjoys similarly successful academic systems and shared cultural values.

Asia couldn’t skip this list, with Singapore being home to one of the top law universities in the world. And although the continent might seem less approachable due to language barriers, it offers a handful of English programs for international students.

You will be able to check out the top 20 best Law universities in the world in the sections below.

How we did this...

To analyse the best law schools in the world, we looked at subject rankings. Out of the three major rankings (QS, Times Higher Education, and Shanghai), we focused on Times Higher Education since it gives a balanced overview of the learning environment, international outlook, and academic staff eligibility.

>> Learn more about how top rankings can help you choose a university by reading this article.

THE Law ranking has five leading indicators:

  • Teaching: the learning environment
  • Research: income, volume, and reputation
  • Citations: research influence
  • International outlook: students, staff, research
  • Industry income: innovation

Friendly lawyer offering advice to young couple

Now, let’s take a closer look at the top law universities in the world in each of the mentioned regions.

Out of the top Law Schools in the World, most are in the USA

Law isn’t an option for undergraduate students in the US. You first need to obtain a Bachelor’s or similar four-year university degree in any subject. Additionally, you need to register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) to be able to apply to a law school. After finishing your three-year program, you’ll be granted a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

It’s no surprise that 7 out of 20 best law schools in the world are from the US, according to Times Higher Education. In fact, the US boasts one of the best jurisdiction systems in the world, and that’s why Law is considered a professional academic field equivalent to a graduate degree (in other parts of the world).

Stanford University

Regarding the world's most prestigious law school, I think it’s safe to say that Stanford University comes first. Initially founded in 1885, it has one of the largest campuses in the US, but getting into Law is not a walk in the park.

With an acceptance rate between 9-10%, students must approach their applications carefully, highlighting why the school is a good match for them. With more than 4,500 applications yearly and only 180 joining Stanford’s students’ law community, the competition is fierce.

     >> Check out our list of 1000+ Master’s in Law in the US

Top 10 Law Schools in the US

Here are the top 10 law universities in the US according to THE (7 of them are among the top 20 Law universities in the world):

  1. Stanford University
  2. New York University
  3. Yale University
  4. Harvard University
  5. University of Chicago
  6. Columbia University
  7. University of California, Berkeley
  8. University of California, Los Angeles
  9. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  10. Cornell University

UK: Top-tier Law Degrees in Historical Institutions

Unlike the US, getting admitted to a law school in the UK doesn’t require having a Bachelor’s degree. Here you can apply straight to a BA in Law and pursue further studies with an MA. Law undergraduate degrees typically run for three years if studied full-time with accelerated Law programs available.

The UK is home to some of the world's oldest and most prestigious law universities, with 6 being among the top 20 in the world. Their reputation and rich tradition make them some of the best legal education providers, counting many internationally renowned lawyers as graduates. Moreover, the outstanding curriculum, renowned academics, and vibrant communities add to the overall benefits.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 and is renowned for having unrivalled law faculties, more than 18,000 students, and nearly 9,000 staff. Holding third place among the 20 best law schools in the world, it offers a sought-after three-year Bachelor’s degree.

With an average acceptance rate of 21%, getting admitted to Law is definitely challenging. The entry requirements may vary depending on the country, but A levels typically range from A*A*A-A*AA. Successful applicants get to be part of the Cambridge University Law Society, the largest student-run law society in the UK and among the largest in the world.

Top 10 Law Schools in the UK

Here are the top 10 law universities in the UK according to THE (6 of them are among the top 20 law universities in the world):

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of Oxford
  3. London School of Economics and Political Science
  4. UCL
  5. University of Edinburgh
  6. King’s College London
  7. University of Nottingham
  8. Durham University
  9. University of Essex
  10. University of Leeds

     >> Check out this list of 1200+ Bachelors ’s in Law in the UK

Australia: Top Education and Lively Adventures

Australia is a welcoming and adventurous destination for studying abroad and offers some of the top law schools in the world. With more than 1,000 institutions and 22,000 courses to choose from, this is an oasis for international students. Australia has it all; breathtaking sceneries, rich cultural heritage, high quality of life, and the opportunity to study in English.

To study Law in Australia, some universities require a Bachelor’s degree, while others accept students with high school diplomas. However, keep in mind that Australian universities calculate tuition fees based on the number of units you take as a student. As a result, you might end up with considerably higher tuition fees compared to other countries. But, of course, if you plan to practice Law in Australia after graduation, you’ll be compensated with an excellent quality of life and high salaries.

     >> Check out our list of 360 Bachelors ’s in Law in Australia

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne offers world-standard education and internationally recognised degrees. Established in 1853, it’s the second-oldest university in Australia, with over 52,098 students. Ranked among the top 20 law universities in the world, it’s guaranteed to offer a state-of-the-art curriculum and outstanding facilities.

In 2008, the school changed its program from an LLB to a JD, meaning that students wishing to study Law must possess a Bachelor’s degree first in a discipline other than Law. The degree’s duration is three years (full-time), providing opportunities to work with real clients and solve legal cases. JD includes 24 subjects, and classes have a maximum of 60 students. 

Finally, one of the degree’s perks is connecting students with law mentors through the Melbourne Law School Mentor Program to allow them to explore different career paths.

Top 10 Law Schools in Australia

Here are the top 10 law universities in Australia according to THE (3 of them are among the top 20 Law universities in the world):

  1. University of Melbourne
  2. Australian National University
  3. UNSW Sydney
  4. University of Sydney
  5. Monash University
  6. The University of Queensland
  7. University of Wollongong
  8. University of Adelaide
  9. University of Technology Sydney
  10. Curtin University

Canada: Top-notch Law Educational Programs

Canada is famous worldwide for its stellar law schools, with 2 being among the top law universities in the world. Students get trained to have sharp critical thinking, quick response, and excellent communication skills. With the average salary of law professionals at around 112,000 CAD, Canada will open doors for you if you’re passionate about this field.

Most programs last three years (full-time) and require a four-year undergraduate degree in a field other than Law to get admitted. The average tuition fees in Canada are around $20,700/year, but it all depends on the desired program. Most Canadian universities offer a lively community, plenty of extracurricular activities, and cultural programs to help international students integrate with Canadian culture.

     >> Check out this list of 81 Master’s in Law in Canada 

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is among the most prestigious universities and ranks #16 in the top 20 law schools in the world, according to THE. Initially founded in 1827, it has a reputation for producing leaders among its former students. In fact, it now counts more than five Canadian prime ministers, 10 Nobel laureates, reputable actors and writers.

To be admitted to its Law curriculum, candidates must possess three years of full-time undergraduate study. Generally, around 2,000 applications are received yearly, and only 200 students make it to the first year of their JD studies. However, once admitted, students reap the benefits of academic, cultural, and recreational opportunities at one of the world's most prominent institutions.

Top 10 Law Schools in Canada

Here are the top 10 law universities in Canada according to THE (2 of them are among the top 20 Law universities in the world):

  1. University of Toronto
  2. McGill University
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. University of Montreal
  5. University of Ottawa
  6. Dalhousie University
  7. University of Calgary
  8. University of Alberta
  9. Queen’s University
  10. Western University

Europe: World-class Education and Research

Europe is one of the most exciting places to study due to its rich history, diversity of cultures, and top-notch institutions. In fact, some of the world’s best universities are located in Europe, while cross-border cooperations have shaped a strong academic community. One of the perks of studying Law in Europe is also the low-tuition fees and the abundance of English programs to choose from.

Additionally, unlike the US or Canada, European law schools don’t require a Bachelor’s degree before accepting students to their curriculum. This makes it easy for high school graduates to jump straight into their field of choice. Finally, thanks to European universities' relationships with employers, students are integrated into companies to learn the trait next to professionals.

     >> Check out this list of 1434 Bachelor’s in Law in Europe 

KU Leuven

KU Leuven is ranked #14 among the 20 top law universities in the world. Located in Belgium, it offers research-based education, where professors are the same people who perform the ground-breaking research we hear about in the press. With affordable tuition fees and rich international student life, it offers a promising career to candidates. Additionally, each student receives individual support for practical or academic issues.

To get admitted to the Law program of KU Leuven university, you need a high school diploma, a minimum GPA of 3, English language proficiency, and at least three recommendation letters. The acceptance rate is around 73% making it easier to get admitted than other institutions. Once accepted, you can enjoy the perks of a rich academic life and state–of–the–art facilities.

Top 10 Law Schools in Europe

Here are the top 10 law universities in Europe according to THE (1 of them is among the top 20 Law universities in the world):

  1. KU Leuven
  2. Tilburg University
  3. Maastricht University
  4. LMU Munich
  5. Leiden University
  6. University of Amsterdam
  7. Humboldt University of Berlin
  8. Utrecht University
  9. University of Bologna
  10. University of Geneva

Asia: Affordable Education and Diverse Cultures

Asia’s increasing political and economic role in the world makes it one of the most desired educational destinations for international students. In fact, employers value workers with Asia-related knowledge and background since it opens a broad market for them. In addition, the continent offers thrilling opportunities to experience diverse cultures while honing skills that’ll set you apart from the competition.

Perhaps one of the most critical assets of studying Law in Asia is the quality of the educational system. Asian economies count on education to develop productive members of society and set them out of the masses. And all that in competitive living costs, considerably lower than other countries in Europe or the US.

National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore is #9 among the 20 top law schools worldwide, according to THE. With more than 60 years of legal education, an illustrious alumni community, rich student life, and different specialisation areas, it’s a top choice among law universities.

To get admitted to the JD program, you need to be a holder of a Bachelor’s degree in any non-law discipline. The duration is typically three years (full-time), with options for accelerated curriculums. The NUS acceptance rate is around 25%; therefore, competition is high.

     >> Check out our list of 152 Bachelor’s in Law in Asia

Top 10 Law Schools in Asia

Here are the top 10 law universities in Asia according to THE (1 of them is among the top 20 Law universities in the world):

  1. National University of Singapore
  2. University of Hong Kong
  3. Tsinghua University
  4. Chinese University of Hong Kong
  5. City University of Hong Kong
  6. Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  7. Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  8. Tel Aviv University
  9. Zhejiang University
  10. University of Macau

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