Top 10 universities in the world for law 2024
Scroll down for the full list of best universities in the world for law degrees
|Law rank 2024||Law rank 2023||University||Country/region|
|1||6||Harvard University||United States|
|2||1||Stanford University||United States|
|3||3||University of Cambridge||United Kingdom|
|=4||12||Columbia University||United States|
|=4||2||New York University||United States|
|6||13||University of California, Berkeley||United States|
|7||4||University of Oxford||United Kingdom|
|8||=7||University of Melbourne||Australia|
|9||10||The University of Chicago||United States|
|10||5||Yale University||United States|
A law degree is the first step on a number of career paths – including a career as a solicitor, a barrister or a judge. Many universities around the world provide law degrees, so it can be difficult to choose the best one for you.
Times Higher Education has ranked the top universities for law degrees. Harvard University in the US takes first place, followed by Stanford University. A fifth of the universities in the law ranking are located in the US.
The University of Toronto, in joint 21st place, is the highest-ranked Canadian university. Sixteen other Canadian universities feature in the ranking.
Times Higher Education’s subject rankings are based on the same 18 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings 2024. However, the methodology is carefully recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields. The full methodology for law can be found here.
Scroll down for a comprehensive guide to what you can do with a law degree, and the top universities in the subject.
Top 5 universities for law degrees
New York University’s School of Law was established in 1835.
There are a number of graduate programmes available, as well as LLM dual degrees with other schools, including the National University of Singapore.
The School of Law offers the JD for undergraduate students. Also offered are dual JD degrees in various fields such as taxation, international law, economics, history, philosophy or politics and French studies.
Columbia Law School was founded in 1858.
The school offers a range of programmes include the JD degree, the LLM programme, and the JSD programme. It also offers dual and joint degrees.
The programmes at the university cover a range of study areas including criminal justice, environment and energy, law and philosophy and constitutional law, among many others.
The Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge offers six degree options at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Master’s courses include an MPhil in criminology, an MPhil in criminological research, a diploma in legal studies and a diploma in international law.
The Squire Law Library at the University of Cambridge is one of the three largest legal collections in the UK, with almost 180,000 volumes. The collection is strongest in British law, but it contains collections on legal systems across the world including the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. There are also smaller collections relating to other countries.
Stanford Law School is known for having one of the lowest student-to-staff ratios in the US, at 7.3:1. Students can choose from 280 different courses to specialise in the area that interests them.
Law courses at Stanford begin with an overview in the first year covering criminal law, contracts, tort, and legal research and writing.
The Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford holds about 500,000 books.
Stanford law students run more than 50 student organisations, including the law and wine society, Stanford Law Students for Gender Violence Prevention, Women in Politics, and the Black Law Students Association. There are also 12 legal journals affiliated with the law school.
Harvard Law School offers wide range of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The school has a range of resources and workshops to help students plan their careers in the legal field and experience various aspects of the profession while still studying. These include a spotlight on judicial clerkships, networking opportunities and career advising for both the private and public sector.
The school also hosts the visiting scholar/visiting researcher programme, which accommodates a small number of legal scholars and researchers from around the world who are engaged in major research projects.
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Top universities for law degrees 2024
Click each institution to view its World University Rankings 2024 profile
Editor’s note: As part of our THE statement on Ukraine published on 2 March 2022, Russian universities have been given less prominence in our rankings. Russian universities that met the criteria for this ranking are not displayed in the table above.