Best Universities in the World for Law Degrees in 2018

British magazine ranks the best law schools in the world.

Want to know how U.S. law schools stack up against their global counterparts? For the first time ever, Times Higher Education has ranked the top 100 universities in the world for law degrees, and five U.S. law schools made the top ten. 

Three universities — Duke, Stanford and Yale — topped the worldwide ranking at first, second and third, respectively. Two other law schools made the top ten, with the University of Chicago coming in fourth place and Harvard University in ninth place.

Nearly a third of the universities in the top 100 ranking are located in the U.S.

The Times Higher Education world rankings are based on 13 performance indicators, such as learning environment, the volume and reputation of research and research influence. The methodology was recalibrated for law schools. To be considered, each university must have published at least 100 papers in the last five years related to the subject of law.

Duke capped the Times Higher Education rankings for its wealth of academic opportunities for law students. Duke Law School publishes eight academic journals, and students can enroll in a variety of joint degree programs with other graduate schools, such as the business school and medical school. In fact, nearly 25 percent of all law students at Duke are enrolled in joint degrees.

Stanford came in close behind at second place, due in part to its low student-to-staff ratio. Times Higher Education also noted that the Stanford Law School offers nearly 280 different course titles, allowing students to develop specialized expertise. Moreover, the law school is home to 50 student organizations and 12 legal journals.

Yale made the top three, with Times Higher Education acknowledging the strength of Yale Law School’s legal clinics. Close to 80 percent of all students participate in clinics before graduation.

Other countries represented in the top ten were the United Kingdom, with the University of Cambridge in fifth place and the University of Oxford in Sixth, and Australia, with the University of Melbourne taking eighth place. The University of Toronto in Canada was ranked 10th.

To see which other law schools made the ranking, read the full article in the Fall 2017 preLaw Magazine.