Durham tops ‘Most Impressive Law School Buildings in the World’ list

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By Alex Aldridge on

English universities take first and second spot in (slightly random) list of visually splendid law schools, with five more institutions from our green and pleasant land featuring elsewhere in the top 50.

Congratulations to Durham University law school (pictured below), which is officially the ‘Most Impressive Law School Building in the World’ — according to a list that has been doing the rounds in the legal blogosphere this week.

The Oxbridge reject’s law school of choice seems to have charmed the Americans who compiled the rankings with its captivating blend of modernity (it looks a bit like an out-of-town Sainsbury’s) and tradition (it has views of Durham cathedral). But is it really as impressive as the number two law school on the list — which is also situated in the north east?


Hot on Durham’s heels in second place is the rather less prestigious — but equally gorgeous — Northumbria University law school. “Futuristic and splendid,” crows the anonymous author of the rankings, “the large modular buildings that comprise The School of Law at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle have already won 20 awards for design and construction.”


A couple of US law schools follow in third and fourth place, before, at number five, comes Leeds University law school’s £12 million Liberty Building!


Next up is Hertfordshire University law school. Despite occupying a lowly 74th place in the Guardian‘s ‘league table for law’, it has been deemed the eighth ‘Most Impressive Law School Building in the World’. As you can see below, Hertfordshire Uni’s Law Court Building is absolutely radiant. And not only is it impressive to look at but it is “predicted to consume 50% less carbon than the previous facility that housed The School of Law, and includes a rainwater harvesting system to aid in energy efficient plumbing”.


Nestled off the Euston Road in the heart of once-Bohemian Bloomsbury, UCL‘s Bentham House faculty of laws is the very definition of Regency splendour, with glamour added by the fact that Mahatma Gandhi studied there. Put these factors into the ‘Most Impressive Law School Buildings in the World’ calculator and you get the 13th ‘Most Impressive Law School Building in the World’.


Surely some mistake has been made in allowing this monstrosity to creep into 14th place in the list. But wait, the brutalist hell hole houses Oxford University‘s faculty of law? On second thoughts, it’s magnificent!


Yes, the name on everyone who’s been reading this article’s lips has made it in the end. Edge Hill University, which we didn’t have to Google because we’d never heard of it before, comes in at 33rd place, with its department of law and criminology winning plaudits for its “large windows” and setting in “pristine rolling hills and verdant green spaces”.


The 50 Most Impressive Law School Buildings in the World [Best Choice Schools via TaxProf Blog and Above the Law]