Top Law Schools in 2014 | Top Universities

Top Law Schools in 2014

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated September 30, 2016 Updated September 30, 2016

To view the latest version of this article based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, click here, or read on for 2014's results.

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 lists the world’s leading university departments in 30 individual subjects – including a ranking of the 200 top law schools this year. If you’ve got your ambitions set on legal studies at one of the global leaders in the field, read on for an overview of top law schools around the world.

Of the 200 universities highlighted in the law ranking, 40 are in the US and 29 in the UK. The next best-represented countries are Australia (16), Germany (11), Canada (10), China (9), the Netherlands (9), Spain (9) and Italy (7). This is also a relatively strong field for Belgium, Chile, New Zealand and Switzerland, which all have five entries each, while a total of 32 countries have at least one university featured.

Top law schools in the US

The highest ranked university in the field of law this year is once again Harvard University, which in fact comes top in an impressive 11 of the 30 subjects ranked by QS. Joining Harvard among top law schools in the US are Yale University (ranked 4th in the world for law), New York University (5th), Stanford University (6th), the University of Chicago (9th) and University of California, Berkeley (10th). A further nine US universities make the global top 50 for law, and a total of 40 law schools in the US are included among the world’s top 200.

See more top law schools in the US >

Top law schools in the UK

After the US, the UK boasts the next leading selection of top law schools, with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge coming second and third for law this year (a reversal of their order in the last edition of the ranking). London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which specializes in the social sciences, also makes the top 10, retaining 7th place. Six more UK universities are ranked within the world’s top 50 for law, with a total of 26 law schools in the UK featured in the global top 200.

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Top law schools in Canada

Canadian universities also have a strong presence in the law ranking, with three law schools in Canada ranked within the world’s top 50: the University of Toronto (21st), McGill University (33rd) and University of British Columbia (36th). A further seven law schools in Canada appear within the global top 200, led by York University (51-100), Université de Montréal (101-150) and University of Victoria (101-150).

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Top law schools in Europe

Outside of the UK, the largest numbers of leading law schools in Europe are claimed by Germany, which has 11 universities featured in this year’s law ranking, and the Netherlands, with 9 universities featured. Like Canada, both have three entries within the global top 50. Germany’s highest entries are Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (24=), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (28=) and Universität Hamburg (41st), while the Netherlands’ leading law institutions are Leiden University (23rd), Utrecht University (48th) and the University of Amsterdam (50th).

Other notable law schools in Europe include Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (ranked 26th in the world for law) and France’s Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (27th). In terms of overall representation, Spain fares well with nine entries in the top 200, as does Italy with seven. A total of 15 European countries have at least one university recognized as a world leader in this subject.

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Top law schools in Australia & New Zealand

Law is an especially strong area for Australian universities. A very impressive five law schools in Australia are ranked among the world’s 20 best for this subject: the University of Melbourne (8th), University of Sydney (13th), University of New South Wales (14th), Australian National University (15th) and Monash University (16th). The University of Adelaide is also ranked within the world’s top 50 universities for law, and Australia has a further 10 entries in the top 200 – more than any other country after the US and UK.

Likewise, law is a very strong subject for New Zealand, which has five universities ranked in the global top 200 for law, including three in the top 50: the University of Auckland (28=), University of Otago (37th) and Victoria University of Wellington (49th).

See more top law schools in Australia and New Zealand >

Top law schools in Asia

Asian universities have 24 representatives among the world’s top 200 universities for law, including three entries in the global top 50: the University of Hong Kong (18th), National University of Singapore (19th), University of Tokyo (22nd) and China’s Tsinghua University (44th). The Asian country with the most leading law departments is China, with nine entries. Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea have three each, Japan and Malaysia two apiece, and Israel and Taiwan each have one entry.

Other top law schools

Beyond the countries and regions mentioned above, also deserving mention here are Chile and South Africa. Chile has five universities ranked among the world’s top 200 for law, led by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (43rd). Meanwhile South Africa has four entries in the ranking, of which the highest placed is the University of Cape Town (40th).

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This article was originally published in March 2014 . It was last updated in September 2016

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The former editor of, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'


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