Top 11 Law Schools in the World

 

On a scale of one to 10, how much do you love to read?

If you’re considering going to one of the top law schools in the world, I hope you said 10!

Regardless of which law school you choose, the majority of your time will be spent reading.

Woohoo!

However, there are a few factors that you should strongly consider when deciding where to go.

First and foremost, where do you want to ultimately practise law?

You will have better access to top local law firms and a much larger alumni network in the city you went to school in; therefore, you will have a greater chance of securing a great job in the city you go to school in.

Pick your location wisely.

Do you want to study a specific kind of law?

Most law schools will have a range of different law programs for you to choose from, as well as a general program if you don’t have a specific interest. However, if you are interested in a certain type of law, make sure you research the top law schools in that field.

Will you thrive in a large classroom environment or will you do better in a smaller environment?

Going to a larger school will give you access to more diverse students and often more courses, while going to a smaller school will give you a more intimate, one-on-one experience. Pick your poison.

Law school will push you in ways you didn’t know were possible. You will struggle. You will stress and you will probably cry. But in the end, you will be okay.

In fact, you will be a lawyer!

Whether you want to go into academia, practise law, or pursue a completely different field, the trials – pun intended – law school puts you through will help you handle anything that comes your way.

Quick note: In the US, you can only go to law school after you finish your bachelor's degree; however, UK universities offer law as an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree.

In this list, I’m only going to focus on graduate degrees.

Now crack open your textbook and let’s get started!

11. University College London

University College London

If London is calling your name, then UCL is your game. Located in the heart of the bustling city, UCL features a diverse international community and has a multitude of law courses you can try your hand at, especially in your first year.

Try not to get too caught up in your books and remember to explore the city around you.

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Entry Requirements: Academic transcripts, 2 references (at least one academic), English proficiency (tested when needed), and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: N/A

Average GPA: 3.3 or the equivalent of Upper Second-Class Honours (2.1)

Student Teacher Ratio: 5.8:1

Number of Students: 460

Program Length: 12 months

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): EU/UK: $42,794 USD, International: $51,106 USD

10. The University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne

If you are looking to go to law school in the southern hemisphere, The University of Melbourne is your best bet.

The program teaches law through an international lense and focuses on globalisation.

Plus, all of the classes are capped at 60 students or less. Small classes = more attention.

The program also offers a joint degree from Oxford where two and a half years of your study are completed in Melbourne and one year is completed at Oxford.

If you’d rather stay in Melbourne, good news! Melbourne has been ranked the most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit since 2011.

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Entry Requirements: LSAT and all university transcripts.

Average LSAT Score: 158

Average GPA: 70%+

Student Teacher Ratio: N/A

Number of Students: 1200

Tuition: $91,182 USD for 3 years

9. University of Chicago

University of Chicago

UChicago has mastered the intersection of economics and law. In fact, the only law professor ever to win the Nobel Prize taught law and economics there!

If you are interested in how these two fields interact and you can survive being on a 'quarter system' (i.e. having exams every few weeks), you’ll really enjoy UChicago.

Fun fact: UChicago Law School's Supreme Court Review is one of the most cited legal journals in the world.

Pretty impressive stuff.

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Entry Requirements: LSAT, character and fitness, all university transcripts (graduate and undergraduate), letters of recommendation and evaluation, CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 170

Average GPA: 3.9

Student Teacher Ratio: 7.5:1

Number of Students: 600+

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): $276,021 USD for 3 years

8. Columbia University

University of Columbia

Like most top law schools, Columbia is very stressful; however, the school’s 'Legal Methods'course will help you transition to the life of a law student. The course, which you will take in your first 3 weeks, is pass/fail and will teach you about how Columbia’s law program works all while getting to know your professors, classmates, and New York City on a deeper level.

Gotta love a school that makes your first three weeks pass or fail! Thanks for being so accommodating, Columbia.

Acceptance Rate: 22%

Entry Requirements: LSAT, all university transcripts (graduate and undergraduate), 2 letters of recommendation, Dean’s letter (if applicable), CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 171

Average GPA: 3.7

Student Teacher Ratio: 7.6:1

Number of Students: 1267

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): $274,620 USD for 3 years

7. University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

Looking to study intellectual property, environmental, or international law in sunny California? UC Berkeley might just be for you.

The best part about UC Berkeley? If you can’t find the courses you are looking for, you can take your third year at Harvard.

Talk about getting the best of both worlds!

Side note: Don’t expect to get grades, GPAs, or be ranked amongst your peers here, Berkeley has its own unique grading system.

Acceptance Rate: 22%

Entry Requirements: LSAT, all university transcripts, 2-3 letters of recommendation, CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 166

Average GPA: 3.78

Student Teacher Ratio: 13.8:1

Number of Students: 916

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): In State: $237,684 USD for 3 years, Out of State: $249,937 USD for 3 years

6. New York University

New York University

Do international law or public interest law sound appealing to you? NYU is great at both.

If you have broader interests, you can get a joint degree with other graduate programs at NYU as well as through other institutions such as Harvard and Princeton.

The school also offers study abroad opportunities in 15 universities worldwide.

New York, and the world, are literally at your fingertips.

Acceptance Rate: 29.8%

Entry Requirements: LSAT, all university transcripts, work and extracurricular experience, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 169

Average GPA: 3.81

Student Teacher Ratio: 9:1

Number of Students: 1,369

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): $278,718 USD for 3 years

5. Stanford University

Stanford University

Unlike many top law schools, Stanford places more emphasis on student collaboration and less on independent learning. Fierce classroom competition and extreme academic pressure give way to teamwork and intellectual stimulation.

Basically, everyone cares about each other tremendously and everyone from the students to the professors will want to see you succeed.

You have a lot of options at Stanford, such as creating your own joint degree and picking your own courses.

Plus, located in California, the campus is pretty much as close as you can get to paradise, which makes all of your reading a whole lot easier.

Acceptance Rate: 9.1%

Entry Requirements: LSAT, all university transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 170

Average GPA: 3.86

Student Teacher Ratio: 7:3:1

Number of Students: 572

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): $277,866 USD for 3 years

4. Yale University

Yale University

If you thrive in a smaller community and want a top notch education, you will love Yale Law.

Many of Yale’s graduates lean towards academia as opposed to practising at a large law firm in, let’s say, NYC. Don’t worry, though, with a law degree from Yale, you’re guaranteed to get a great job regardless of how you want to use your degree.

Acceptance Rate: 9.7%

Entry Requirements: LSAT, all university transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 173

Average GPA: 3.89

Student Teacher Ratio: 8.46:1

Number of Students: 650

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): $247,806 USD for 3 years

3. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

Cambridge’s Master of Laws (LLM) program is a one-year graduate course designed to further your understanding of law, whether you actually want to become a lawyer or are just interested in learning more about the subject.

This short course consists of four classes (papers) which you can tailor to your interests. There is also an option to take 'general' courses, which will allow you to take four courses in any number of legal fields, related or not.

Keep in mind that obtaining an LLM will not allow you to practise law in the US; however, Harvard has a joint LLM/JD program with Cambridge that will give you a degree from both schools in three and a half years.

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Entry Requirements: First class degree in law, English requirement (IELTS or TOEFL), 2 academic letters of recommendation, and a CV.

Average LSAT Score: N/A

Average GPA: top 5%-10% of your class

Student Teacher Ratio: N/A

Number of Students: 154

Program Length: 9 months

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): UK: $28,961 USD, EU: $29,360 USD, Overseas: $40, 657 USD

2. University of Oxford

University of Oxford

Oxford’s program is the only graduate law program in the world that is taught through a combination of seminars, tutorials and lectures, therefore giving you a closer connection to your professors and classmates.

Oxford has two main masters programs; the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), which is designed for students from a law background, and a Magister Juris (MJur), which is designed for students from a non-law background.

So regardless of what you studied previously, if you are interested in law, there is a place for you at Oxford.

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Entry Requirements: Academic transcripts, written work, 3 letters of recommendation, CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: N/A

Average GPA: 3.7

Student Teacher Ratio: N/A

Number of Students: 90 students a year

Program Length: 9 months

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): UK/EU: $35,283 USD, Overseas: $41,417 USD

1. Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard Law School is by far the most widely recognised law school in the world and it houses an incredible number of resources.

If you want to pursue a specific degree, take a certain course, or participate in a specialised extracurricular activity, Harvard Law probably offers it.

However, Harvard is also one of the biggest law schools.

Having such a big student body means that a) your classmates will all be very diverse b) there are more courses offered at Harvard than any other law school and c) your sections will be very large.

You may see these three factors as benefits or as downfalls of the school but either way you will be getting a top-notch education.

P.S. As of the Class of 2018, Harvard Law will accept the GRE in place of the LSAT in order to broaden its applicant pool and give more people from diverse backgrounds and lower socioeconomic statuses the chance to attend.

Acceptance Rate: 16.5%

Entry Requirements: LSAT or GRE, all university transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, CV, and a personal statement.

Average LSAT Score: 172

Average GPA: 3.86

Student Teacher Ratio: 12.4:1

Number of Students: 908

Program Length: 3 years

Total Cost (tuition, board and personal expenses): $277,350 USD for 3 years

Final Thoughts:

Think carefully about whether or not you want to do a graduate degree in law and why. At most of these top universities, the upfront cost is huge but you are almost guaranteed to leave with a high paying and rewarding job – and a competitive edge over your peers.

Remember, your choice of law school matters, Your entry requirements, program length, and ultimately your job offers depend on where you go.

Study hard, learn a lot, and don’t forget to look up from your books every once in a while.

Case closed.

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