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What are the Top Law Schools on Each Continent?

4th January 2017 Posted by: Jennifer Parker

A DEGREE in law can open the door to a number of exciting career opportunities; whether you want to work as a judge or a solicitor, a law degree will be your first step on the road to success. A great many universities located all over the world offer law degrees and whilst the basis of these courses will typically be the same, they differ in terms of teaching quality and employment opportunities following graduation. Here we have selected the top two law schools on each continent along with a brief overview to help you to decide which university will be the best choice for you.

North America

Harvard University 

Standing proudly amongst the very top universities in the world, Harvard law school is a leading institution. Harvard is a large university in Cambridge, a city not far from the bustling hub of Boston. There is no denying that the university is incredibly well renowned and a qualification from Harvard Law School will undoubtedly stand you in good stead for a law career in the future.

Rubbing the toe of the John Harvard statue at Harvard University is meant to bring exam luck.

Yale University

Another word-renowned law school is that at Yale University, which regularly occupies one of the top five spots in law school rankings. Harvard and Yale Universities sit confidently at the top of the pack when it comes to law institutions in America. Whilst the two schools are similar in many ways, Yale Law School is a smaller institution that is deemed harder to get into; it is situated in New Haven, a more isolated location when compared to Harvard.


University of Oxford

Like Harvard and Yale in the States, Oxford and Cambridge Universities typically fight for the top spot in law school rankings in Europe. The University of Oxford is well known for its law programmes, offering strong foundations that will help you on your way to a career in the courtroom or in the classroom. The university itself is located in the vibrant city of Oxford – in the south of England, not too far from London.

Oxford is one of the most famous cities in the world for studying Law

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge, also situated in England, is another of the best law institutions in Europe, and indeed in the world. The law course at Cambridge is said to differ from that at Oxford in that it is more black book and less theoretical, though this remains a matter of debate. The city of Cambridge is a lively place to live, but is located in a more rural area of England, north of London.


University of Melbourne

Holding a prominent position in the world rankings, the University of Melbourne law school is considered to be the best of its kind in Australia and New Zealand. Typically only just out-performing the next-best in the area (the University of Sydney), the institution can often be found in the top 10 law schools worldwide. Melbourne University has a high employability ranking and a strong focus on research.

Victoria state library in Melbourne has over 2 million books and is popular with students

University of Sydney

Though not quite as well considered as Melbourne, the University of Sydney law school is not far behind and certainly has a lot going for it, including a high research ranking. Overall, the universities rank similarly; Sydney is a more expensive place to live, but the city is one of the largest in the country and is well known for its vibrant nightlife. A dual degree can also be arranged with the University of Sydney and Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK.


National University of Singapore

Ranked amongst the top 20 law schools in the world, the National University of Singapore is thought to be the best place to study law in Asia. The institution is ranked top in Asia regardless of subject area, and is considered to be research-focused and entrepreneurial. Its employability ranking is high, and the strong reputation should offer graduates of the law school a high chance of success in the law industry.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is the highest ranked university in Asia for Law

University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong is only ranked a few places below the National University of Singapore for its law school. The institution can also be found in the top 20 places to study law worldwide and maintains a great academic reputation. The university is located in Pokfulam and the Hong Kong ranks very similarly to Singapore in terms of affordability and lifestyle.

South America

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

On a global scale, the law school of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile ranks in the top 40; out of those located in South America, this law school holds the top position. Santiago, home of the university campus, is a unique city with plenty of culture and history to offer. The university is well considered and has a good employability ranking.

Santiago is home to the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Once again, the difference between the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Law School and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Law School is slim, with the latter ranking just a few places below the former globally. UNAM, as it is known, has a higher research focus and in turn, a greater academic reputation. The main difference between these two universities is the location – whether you choose to study in Mexico or Chile will largely be dependent on personal preference.


University of Cape Town

Based in a coastal city of South Africa, the University of Cape Town offers a law degree that holds a reputation as the best on the continent. The law school ranks between 50-100 on worldwide rankings, and closer to 200 on overall university rankings. The institution is a large one and has been around for more than a century; a fairly high proportion of the people studying at the University of Cape Town are international students.

Cape Town offers a great law school and stunning scenery

University of Pretoria

Considered second best for the study of law on the continent of Africa, the University of Pretoria is also located in South Africa, this time in Pretoria – a city to the north of Johannesburg. The university is said to be one of the best in South Africa, but ranks around 550-600 in global rankings. The law school offers numerous academic programmes and aims to become an international leader in socially relevant legal research and education.


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