World’s best law schools revealed for 2022

Eighty-eight law schools around the world have improved their rank this year

World’s best law schools revealed for 2022

The world’s best law schools have been determined by the twelfth edition of QS World University Rankings by Subject. Harvard University, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Yale University and Stanford University rank in that order as the top five.

The US leads by number of top-100 law faculties with 17, followed by the United Kingdom with 13 and Australia with eight. The world’s most improved law school is the China University of Political Science and Law which climbs 63 positions in this year’s ranking to place joint 38th – alongside Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 

The other biggest improvements in the field are recorded by Universidad Externado de Colombia (up 37 places), Ireland’s University College Cork (up 25), and the University of Texas at Austin (up 23). 

The 2022 rankings offer an independent comparative analysis of the performance of 342 law schools across 56 countries. In total, 88 law departments around the world have improved their rank this year, while 118 have remained unchanged and 103 have declined.

Harvard University achieves a near-perfect score, banking top marks in all but one of QS’s ranking criteria – citations per paper, in which it scores 96.3. Newcastle University in the UK comes first in the world by this metric with an indicator score of 100.

 Regional Highlights 

  • In Africa, the leading law school is at the University of Cape Town
  • King Abdulaziz University is the Arab Region’s top faculty
  • Australasia's best law faculty is at the University of Melbourne in Australia (12th) 
  • Singapore National University is Asia’s best law department at 11th.  
  • Latin America’s top law school is Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 29th. 

“What we see in the Law rankings is a complete top-5 hegemony – Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Stanford and Cambridge – all of which provide excellent research in the legal field,” said QS research director Ben Sowter. “In fact, the world’s top publisher of law research by volume is the University of Oxford, closely followed by Cambridge – spotlighting the UK as a bastion of legal study. Perhaps less intuitive is the University of Melbourne in fourth.”

Sowter added: “However, the story goes beyond research prowess alone, the upper echelon of the legal field is further enshrined by an unwavering global reputation across the board, from academics and employers alike, within a subject area that places a high premium on renown.”

The rankings are compiled using four indicators, weighted differently depending on the subject. The first two are QS’ global surveys of 130,000 academics and 75,000 employers, used to assess the reputation of institutions in specific fields. The research indicators assess research impact and productivity, based on citations per paper and h-index.

Compiled by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the rankings provide an independent comparative analysis on the performance of 15,200 individual university programs, taken by students at 1543 universities in 88 locations across the world, across 51 academic disciplines and five broad faculty areas.

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