Top Law Schools in 2017 | Top Universities

Top Law Schools in 2017

By Sabrina Collier

Updated March 26, 2020 Updated March 26, 2020

Discover the top law schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

If you want to study law, choosing between the thousands of top law schools across the globe can be tricky. Hopefully, our latest law school rankings can help, as they identify the 300 most prestigious universities for this field.

Top 10 Law Schools in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


Name of Institution



Harvard University

United States


University of Oxford

United Kingdom


University of Cambridge



Yale University



Stanford University



New York University (NYU)



London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)



University of California, Berkeley



Columbia University



University of Chicago


See the full law school ranking >

Top law schools in the US & Canada

The US is home to an impressive 52 of the world’s top law schools, 13 of which feature in the global top 50. Excluding the top 10, these are Georgetown University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Michigan, the University of PennsylvaniaCornell University, and Duke University.

Heading north, and Canada is home to 14 of the world’s top universities for law and legal studies, including three in the top 50: the University of Toronto (17th), McGill University (25th) and the University of British Colombia (28th).

Top law schools in Europe

Europe is home to 138 of the world’s top law schools, 38 of which are found in the United Kingdom. Of these, eight are in the top 50 – following the top 10 (above) are UCL (12th), King’s College London (=18th), the University of Edinburgh (24th), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) (37th) and Durham University (=40th).

Next up in terms of numbers is Italy with 16 representatives in this year’s law school ranking, including Università di Bologna (UNIBO) at 47th and four more institutions in the top 100.

Germany has 14 institutions featured, including Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (39th) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (=40th) and three more in the top 100.

Over in Spain, you’ll find 12 more of the top universities for law, including the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), as well as two more top-100 universities. The Netherlands is next with nine entrants, led by Leiden University, while France has eight representatives in the law school ranking, including Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne at 26th.

Switzerland is next with seven entries, including ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) at 101-150, while Belgium claims six, including four in the top 100, with KU Leuven ranked joint 40th.  

Ireland and Portugal each have five top law schools each, with Ireland’s University College Dublin (UCD) ranked in the top 100.     Meanwhile Russia enters the law school ranking this year with three entries, led by Lomonosov Moscow State University in the top 100.

Heading to the Nordic countries, and Norway, Finland and Denmark each have two entries each, while Sweden claims three of the world’s leading institutions for law and legal studies. Norway’s University of Oslo is the leading law school in the region at 51-100, with five other Nordic universities in the top 150.

Elsewhere, Austria and Greece each have two universities ranked among the world’s best for law, while Hungary and Poland each have one. Of these, the highest ranked is Austria’s University of Vienna at 101-150.

Top law schools in Asia

China boasts 12 universities in this year’s law school ranking, including two in the top 50: Peking University (20th) and Tsinghua University (33rd). A further eight top law schools are found in South Korea, again with two featured in the global top 50: Seoul National University (=34th) and Korea University (=48th).

Hong Kong and Singapore claim three entries each, the highest ranked of which are the National University of Singapore (NUS) (15th) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) (=18th).

Japan has six entrants in this year’s ranking, with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University both ranked within the top 50 worldwide.

Taiwan has three representatives, led by National Taiwan University (NTU) at 38th, while Malaysia has two, including Universiti Malaya (UM) at 151-200.

Top law schools in Latin America

If you want to study law in a Latin American country, Chile should be top of your list as it’s home to eight of the world’s top universities for law this year. Its highest ranked offering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, is placed joint 44th in the world for law this year.

Meanwhile Brazil is home to five top law schools, led by the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) at joint 50th. Also with five entrants this year is Colombia, with Universidad de Los Andes Colombia its highest ranked at 51-100.

Two more top universities for law are found in Mexico, with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) climbing nine places to rank 31st for law in 2017.

Costa Rica and Peru enter the law school ranking this year with one entrant each, while Argentina’s sole entrant, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, is the highest ranked of the three countries at 51-100.

Top law schools in Australia & New Zealand

Australia has 23 representatives in this year’s ranking of the world’s top law schools, including 10 new entries. Seven Australian entries are in the global top 50, led by the University of Melbourne at 11th. Also in the top 50 are the University of Sydney (13th), the University of New South Wales (UNSW) (14th), Australian National University (ANU) (16th), Monash University (27th), the University of Technology, Sydney (43rd) and the University of Queensland (UQ) (=48th).

Six more of the world’s leading law schools are found in New Zealand, three of which are in the top 100 – the University of Auckland (36th), Victoria University of Wellington (46th) and the University of Otago (51-100).

Top law schools in Africa & the Middle East

South Africa features five of the world’s top universities for law in 2017, with the University of Cape Town the leader at 51-100. Lastly, Israel has two representatives in this year’s law school ranking, led by Tel Aviv University at 151-200.

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This article was originally published in March 2017 . It was last updated in March 2020

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