Law is one of the most popular disciplines in the world, and many international students carefully look at their options abroad before making a decision. One of the most in-demand and obvious criteria is that the Law degree is taught in English.
How many English-taught law schools are there in Europe?
There’s no official database with the exact number of European law schools that offer English taught degrees. But based on the data on our portals — Bachelorsportal, Mastersportal, PhDportal — there are over 2,100 Law degrees taught entirely in English on the European continent.
Most of these Law programmes are available at Bachelor’s and Master’s level, but you can find over 70 courses at PhD level as well.
Here are a few English-taught law schools that we recommend checking out:
- University of Bristol, the UK
- KU Leuven, Belgium
- Tilburg University, the Netherlands
- University of St. G199763en (HSG), Switzerland
- T199763inn University, Estonia
- Hanken School of Economics, Finland
- Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal
How do I know if a Law degree is taught in English?
We’ve already mentioned that we only list English-taught degrees; so, as long as you search for a degree abroad on our portals, you should be just fine. You can even check out the specific English language requirements for each degree.
Of course, universities (or other websites) might list additional Law programmes on their websites. In this case, you’ll have to do a bit of research to find out if those programmes are taught in English or if they’re open to international students. Should you struggle to find this information, don’t hesitate to contact the university directly.
To apply at most law schools in Europe, you’ll have to pass one of the following widely accepted English language tests:
Learn more about IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Academic.
Application requirements for English-taught Law degrees in Europe
From one university to another, the application requirements will vary; for some, the list is shorter, for others, it’s quite long and demanding. But that’s to be expected when applying at the best law schools out there.
To give you an overall idea, here are a few common admission criteria at European law schools:
Admission requirements for Bachelor’s in Law
- High school/Baccalaureate diploma
- Transcript of records
- English language test scores
- Personal statement
Admission requirements for Master’s in Law
- Bachelor’s diploma (ideally in Law or a related field, but there are exceptions)
- GRE General Test (only at some law schools)
- Transcript of records
- Previous work experience
- Motivation letter/Interview
The best English-taught law schools in Europe
According to TopUniversities’ latest rankings by subject, the following are the best law schools in Europe:
- University of Oxford, the UK
- University of Cambridge, the UK
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK
- University College London (UCL), the UK
- King’s College London, the UK
- Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
- The University of Edinburgh, the UK
- Leiden University, the Netherlands
- Queen Mary University of London, the UK
- KU Leuven, Belgium
Check out a different Law ranking created by Times Higher Education.
How to become a lawyer in Europe
With over 40 countries on this beautiful continent, it’s hardly surprising that the journey to becoming a lawyer can significantly differ from one country to another.
Still, there are a few aspects that do not change. For example, English will no longer be enough after graduation (the UK is an obvious exception). You will have to learn the local language to practise law in that country; it’s the main language you’ll use to interact with your clients, to support your case in courts, and so on.
You also need to become very familiar — and by this, we mean you need to be an expert in — the local judicial systems and criminal codes. Studying a degree in that country is a great start, but you will need to expand this knowledge after graduation and stay up to date with the latest changes and developments. Your work could also involve dealing with European law, which is normally common for all the members of the European Union (EU).
Let’s look, for example, at the typical journey to becoming a lawyer in the UK (at the time of writing this article):
- Graduate with a degree in Law after 3 years of undergraduate studies
- Finish the Legal Practice Course (LCP), which takes 1 year
- Follow all the above with 2 years of training at a law firm
And this is only to become a solicitor, meaning to deal with legal affairs outside courts and tribunals. To become a barrister, take cases, and represent defendants, the journey is different.
Keep in mind that these steps can change periodically, so it’s always a good idea to check out the latest information. For instance — to return back to the UK example above — from September 2021 onwards, the path to becoming a solicitor will change with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), which will replace the old route.
Like laws, up-to-date information is crucial. Otherwise, you could end up graduating and having to wait even longer to start working, which would be a shame.