Top Law Schools in 2020 | Top Universities

Top Law Schools in 2020

By Julia Gilmore

Updated April 16, 2021 Updated April 16, 2021

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 features 300 of the top higher education institutions to study law.

The QS Rankings by Subject are based on four indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper and the H-index (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar). You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here.

Read on to learn more about the best law schools in each region. Alternatively, if you would like to explore the 300 schools in further detail, click here to view the full table.

Top 10 Law Schools in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


Name of Institution



Harvard University

United States


University of Oxford

United Kingdom


University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


Yale University

United States


Stanford University

United States


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

United Kingdom


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

United States


Columbia University

United States


New York University (NYU)

United States


The University of Melbourne


See the full ranking for law schools here >

Top law schools in the US and Canada

Of the 48 law schools in the US and the 13 law schools in Canada, an impressive 17 North American schools make it into the global top 50 this year. The world’s best legal education is provided by Harvard University, who retain the title for the fifth consecutive year.

Outside of the global top 10 (which features six US law schools), there are eight American law schools featured in the global top 50. The University of Chicago narrowly misses out on a spot in the top 10 in 11th place globally. Other notable US schools include Georgetown University (18th), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, 26th) and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (29th).

Canada’s highest ranked law school is found at the University of Toronto, which ranks joint 20th globally. There are two other Canadian law schools in the global top 50 - McGill University in 28th place, and the University of British Columbia in 40th.

Top law schools in Europe

Europe is the most well-represented region globally for law schools, with 138 ranked programs, including 15 in the global top 50 and three in the global top 10.

The United Kingdom has 35 law schools in the ranking, the most of any country in Europe. Outside of the top 10, notable British law schools include King's College London (KCL) in 15th place, the University of Edinburgh (22nd), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, 30th) and Durham University (joint 43rd).

The Netherlands has two universities in the top 50, with Leiden University in 24th place, and the University of Amsterdam in 34th. France also has two schools in the top 50, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in 25th and Sciences Po Paris in joint 50th; as does Germany, with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 37th place and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in joint 43rd. Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven rounds off the European presence at 33rd in the table.

Top law schools in Asia

There are 48 Asian law schools in the rankings this year, with eight schools making it into the global top 50. Asia’s highest ranked law school is the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 13th place. Japan also has one school in the global top 50 with The University of Tokyo in joint 20th place – a further eight Japanese schools feature in the overall rankings.

South Korea has six programs in the law rankings, with one entrant in the top 50 - Seoul National University (SNU) in 38th place. Taiwan also has one program in the top 50, with National Taiwan University (NTU) taking 49th place. Hong Kong has three programs in the law rankings, with two making it into the top 50: The University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 19th place and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in joint 43rd.

Mainland China is the most well-represented region in Asia in the law school rankings, with 14 programs. Two of these programs are in the world top 50, with Peking University in 23rd place and Tsinghua University in 27th.

Top law schools in Australia and New Zealand

A total of 22 law programs in Australia (18) and New Zealand (4) feature in the subject rankings, with six Australian programs making it into the global top 50. Australia’s highest-ranked law program can be found at The University of Melbourne, which is the only non-UK or US law program in the top 10 (in 10th place).

Also notable in Australia are The University of Sydney (13th place), The University of New South Wales (UNSW, 14th), the Australian National University (ANU, 17th), Monash University (35th) and The University of Queensland (UQ, 39th). New Zealand’s highest ranked program is its only entrant in the top 50 – The University of Auckland, in joint 50th place.

Top law schools in Latin America

Latin America has a significant presence in the law rankings this year, with 23 programs included. Four Latin American programs are in the top 50 globally; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is the highest ranked in the region at 36th place, with 5 other universities in Chile in the rankings.

Out of two universities in the rankings, Mexico’s highest ranked law program can be found at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), in joint 41st place globally. Argentina’s Universidad de Buenos Aires and Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo (USP) are in joint 47th place. Although none of its programs feature in the top 50, Colombia is the most well-represented Latin American country in the rankings, with eight schools featured – its highest ranked school Universidad de Los Andes Colombia is ranked at 51-100.

Top law schools in Africa and the Middle East

Five African schools are featured in the law rankings, with four of these in South Africa and one in Egypt. The highest ranked school is the University of Cape Town, at 101-150. Only two countries in the Middle East are represented in the law school rankings – Israel and Saudi Arabia, with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the highest ranked at 101-150.

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in April 2021

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