World law school rankings: Top 20 spots for LSE, UCL, King’s and Edinburgh

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Harvard beats Oxbridge — again

This year’s world law school rankings have been released with few surprises at the top-end of the table.

Ivy League, Russell Group and major international law schools continue to dominate in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

Harvard has once again beaten Oxbridge to be crowned the best law school in the world for the fifth consecutive year. Oxford came second, whilst Cambridge ranked third.

Coming seventh, LSE is the only other UK university to feature in this year’s top ten, which is dominated by US law schools.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Law School Most Lists

Further down the law school pecking order and three more UK unis secured top 20 spots. They are UCL (13th), King’s College London (15th) and Edinburgh University (17th).

Elsewhere, Queen Mary placed 26th, coming in higher than fellow Russell Group players Durham (49th), Manchester (58th), Bristol and Glasgow, who ranked jointly in 66th position. Nottingham (88th) and Leeds (90th) round off the top 100 in the list which features 342 law schools.

The rankings cover 51 subjects and are based upon academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. This year’s findings draw on responses from over 130,000 academics and nearly 70,000 graduate employers worldwide.

QS World University Rankings — Top 20 for law:

RankLaw schoolOverall score (out of 100)
1Harvard University99.8
2University of Oxford98
3University of Cambridge97.5
4Yale University93.6
5Stanford University93.3
6New York University91.8
8Columbia University89.8
9University of California, Berkeley89.3
10University of Chicago88.1
11National University of Singapore87.9
12University of Melbourne87.1
14University of New South Wales84.4
15King’s College London83.7
16University of Sydney83.3
17University of Edinburgh83.1
18Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne82.5
19University of Toronto82.3
20University of Hong Kong82.2

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Yeah and the cost of attending Harvard all in is almost 100k USD per year. Makes our universities seem cheap in comparison.



I always think that the people working in the US offices of US firms must be pretty peeved their UK counterparts get the same salary as them! The Cravath scale is because of those ludicrous US law school fees. People always chiming in about the big UK firms vs. US firms in London salaries don’t ever seem to mention this is obviously the reason for it either.



A lot of us went to law school in the US and moved to UK after though. So we still need to be paid Cravath to recover the money invested into going to law school!



Only a law school ranking as irrelevant as QS would put those French and Australian universities in the top 20.


Old Guy

For those that understand the French system, we all know that the law schools are far inferior to the elite engineering and business schools and the Sciences Pos. Yes the grads that make it through Sorbonne/Assas are high calibre, but the institutions are not competitive in the way Harvard, Oxbridge or even Exeter/Sheffield in undergrad law are. Many of the top French law grads go to business school or a Science Po and study law part-time from the 2 years of prepas through to 3/4 years of business school. Those that don’t will do 2 masters degrees in France and then head to the US/UK for an LLM at a top tier school. First year lectures are packed with many people that eventually drop out although things have started to change. These rankings don’t compare like for like. Germany too does not really have elite schools for law other than Bucerius. Yes grads are top class but the talent is spread around the country because people stay in the states where they grew up and want to practice. So older established schools will still have a spread of talent. These rankings are driven by an Anglo-American obsession with prestige and labels.


Australian Oxford grad

Top Australian law schools like Melbourne, Sydney, and UNSW generally require you to be in the top 1% the country to get in. Many of their academic staff are also Oxbridge trained and/or past Oxbridge teaching faculty. None of this is to say that they are better than Oxbridge, Harvard or Yale, but they are very much in the same league as – if not better than – the London law schools.


Aussie BCL

The locals don’t want to hear it mate – English exceptionalism at its finest. Most of the UK universities listed trade off their post-graduate programs and the fact they have been around for 500 years. Most of the undergraduate law programs in the UK are nothing to write home about, let alone the fact that lawyers do not have to do a law degree – one year conversion course; must be the only major jurisdiction in the world with that system and it shows.

It’s no surprise that London is flooded with Aussie and Commonwealth lawyers. In one of the Magic Circle firms, it is an open fact that Aussie/Saffa/Indian trainees are much better than the UK ones.



Drivel. Australia is a country of 30 million people. UK has circa 70 million people. In addition top tier students from all around the world want to study English law in ‘shock’….England. Students from Singapore, Hong Kong, India, various African countries, the Middle East, other European countries and Canada are pushing to study in England. Competition is fierce for the LLB at Redbrick universities. Everyone all over the world wants a degree from the US or UK, whether at undergrad or at least at Masters, including you which is why you headed over to Oxford for the BCL. The competition is not the same in your Sandstone Unis. Of course some brilliant Aussies and Kiwis get through, but Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne are at the level of Manchester/Leeds/Exeter/Nottingham/Birmingham/Southampton and we know this because so many go there for a study abroad and do very well. I say this as someone who went to one of those listed English Unis and studied in Oz for a year. Oxbridge, LSE and UCL are far ahead on average than those Unis down under.



What does the population have to do with anything… It doesn’t make the point you think you are when the UK also has circa 3x as many law schools.

I agree that most people want a degree from the US or the UK – usually the Ivy League or Oxbridge or equivalent. People aren’t rushing over to Leeds mate given the choice. As I said, they largely trade off the post graduate programs which I agree are stronger. Not for undergrad – the choice for most coming to the UK to do an LLB is because they (i) ultimately want to work or live in London or (ii) because their home jurisdiction is not that well recognised/they want to be able to qualify as an English lawyer; not because the UK LLBs are strong. There are also usually separate entry requirements and/or cohorts for domestic and international students so the point about people pushing to study in England is irrelevant – lots of numbers doesn’t mean the competition is fierce. It’s selection criteria which matters.

I also pissed around for 6 months at one of your red bricks/Russell groups and scored in the 90s. Outside of law, it’s a rite of passage for Aussie business students to go to LSE for a semester and cruise because the courses are so much easier. Everyone knows studying abroad is a piss-up – who doesn’t do well on these… the whole point is to have a holiday.


Such a delusional comment. I also came from abroad to study in one of the above named London universities. It was definitiley competitive in terms of standing out (mostly beacuse my English was poor when I arrived and beacuse the students themselves here are driven and smart) but in terms of quality of teaching and acquiring a proper understanding of the legal system … an aboslute joke. I don’t complain as it landed me a great job at an SC firm where I earn decent money despite still not knowing too much about law in general. English universities are great in terms of marketing and look good in one’s CV but in terms of teaching quality… even the Eastern European university (in a country of circa 9 million people, mostly rural and poor) that I attended for 2 years before coming here was way more rigorous and intellectually challenging in terms of curriculum. I can therefore easily imagine that Australian unis offer better quality teaching as well.


Quite odd how Harvard still didn’t make top 3 in the US rankings


Dal And.

Chicago is creeping up and dominating, it will soon be apart of the elite 3 along with MIT and Stanford.

Also, most of these ranking are biased as they priortise the top unis from the country the ranking agencies are based on. Eg Times ranking is based in the UK, hence alway putting oxford on top when it clearly it should not be.



People who are obsessed with university rankings are my least favourite kind of people. I’m quite happy having no idea at all where someone went to university.



LSE? Yeah, right.



Back to ur revision fella, sociology exam’s soon



LSE Reject spotted



And most importantly UNSW beat USyd



Rankings are so extremely cringe, and subjective. Why are they even made?

I recently saw a video where Harvard undergrads had 3 classes per week, and then the rest of the week they had sports. The American system is a complete joke and it is incomprehensible how such a system is ‘better’ according to some rankings.



International rankings are skewed heavily towards research output and size etc. Why people actually care about these rankings if they’re not an academic or something, I don’t know.



How would people rank the UK unis respectively?

Is somewhere like Manchester/Leeds/Nottingham/Bristol good enough for a commercial chambers with a 1st and a BCL?


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