Top Law Schools by Academic Reputation | Top Universities

Top Law Schools by Academic Reputation

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Chloe Lane

Updated Apr 25, 2020



Harvard University campus

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 feature 300 of the world’s top law schools. You can view the full law rankings here.

The rankings are compiled using four indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper and the h-index (a way of measuring the productivity and impact of published work). You can find out more about the methodology used here.

Read on as we reveal which 10 law schools scored the highest in the academic reputation indicator… 

Top 10 Universities for the Law Subject Area by Academic Reputation 

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020

Academic Reputation Ranking

World Ranking




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



The University of Melbourne



New York University (NYU)

United States

10. New York University (NYU)


10thin our list of the best law universities in terms of academic reputation is New York University (NYU), which earns a score of 90.5 (out of 100) in the academic reputation indicator this year.

NYU places ninth in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, after rising one place in the rankings. NYU Law is a leader in law and business, global, public service and clinical legal education, with a strong alumni network of over 40,000 successful NYU Law graduates.

9. The University of Melbourne


University of Melbourne

In ninth place for academic reputation is the University of Melbourne, with an academic reputation score of 90.7 in the law subject rankings in 2020. The University of Melbourne unfortunately drops four spots in the law subject rankings this year to 10th place worldwide.

Established in 1857, Melbourne Law School has more than 90 academic staff members, and more than 170 visiting lecturers, fellows and visiting scholars each year. Its 20,000 alumni are leaders in law firms, government, public interest, business, academia, not-for-profit and the judiciary – cementing the school’s strong academic reputation around the world. 

8. Columbia University

Columbia University

Scoring 91.4 in the academic reputation indicator and earning eighth place in best law schools by academic reputation this year is Columbia University. Columbia University also ranks eighth overall in the world for law in this year’s subject rankings, after rising one place.

Columbia Law School’s professors are leading scholars in their fields, who shape public policy and the practice of law all around the world – adding to the school’s global approach to education.

7. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

University of California, Berkeley Law School

With an academic reputation score of 91.4 (out of 100), we have the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), in seventh place this year. UCB also ranks seventh overall in the world subject rankings for law this year, after climbing one place in the index.

As one of the 14 schools in UCB, Berkley Law has a range of internationally recognised professors as well as a plethora of successful alumni – including leaders in law, government and society.

6. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Over to Londonnow, where the London School of Economics and Political Sciences’ law school ranks in in sixth place for academic reputation, earning a score of 91.6.

LSE climbs one place in the subject ranking for law this year, placing sixth in the world. LSE has an international reputation for the quality of both its teaching and its legal research (supported by the research citations per paper indicator, in which LSE earns its highest score this year).

5. Stanford University

Stanford University

In fifth place, both in terms of academic reputation and in the overall law subject rankings, we have Stanford University, with a score of 93.1 in the academic reputation indicator this year.

Stanford Law school prides itself in the practice ready skills it offers, as well as promising better chances at prestigious clerkships, a high bar passage rate and career support for students both before and after graduation.

4. Yale University

Yale University Law School

With an academic reputation score of 95.3, Yale University bags fourth place worldwide this year in the subject rankings for law and for academic reputation.

Yale University states that they provide students with a diverse and robust academic experience. Their 200 law modules are taught by world renowned faculty and a strong network of legal clinics.

3. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge ranks third worldwide for law and for academic reputation, with a competitive score of 97.9 in the academic reputation indicator this year (its highest rank of the four indicators).

Studying law at the University of Cambridge promises to be both intellectually challenging and rewarding, and courses are taught by some of the world’s leading experts in their field.

2. University of Oxford

University of Oxford

With a near perfect score of 99.3 in the academic reputation indicator, the University of Oxford earns second place overall in the law subject rankings this year.

Oxford University has the largest Faculty of Law in the United Kingdom, with thirty law schools located in the colleges of the university, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1.

1. Harvard University

Harvard University

Arguably the most widely known law school in the world, Harvard University comes out on top as the law school with the best academic reputation, earning a perfect score in the academic reputation indicator this year.

Harvard Law School is renowned for the breadth and depth of its courses and clinics and its wide array of research programs. Harvard Law School’s pro bono program also ensures that students will graduate having undertaken at least 50 hours of public service work, arming its graduates with plenty of work experience.

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