Inner view of the Adrian VI college at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
A top job in the legal profession is one of the most sought after in the world. Getting a job at a big firm can be the ticket to a big salary, as well as an awful lot of hours.
But to get a job as a lawyer, you obviously need a law degree, and the more prestigious the school, the better.
Every year, education company QS produces a comprehensive ranking of the world’s best universities, broken down by region and subject. QS’s latest ranking was releasedi includes some interesting data about which universities provide the best education in the field of law.
A university’s ranking is based on the institution’s reputation with academics and employers, and the number of research citations the school gets per paper published in a specific discipline — in this case, law. QS then gives a score out of 100.
Many of the top schools globally are in the USA, but Europe holds its own, with Britain’s law schools doing particularly well. You can check out the best law schools in Europe below. Overall rankings are in brackets.
=13. (41) University of Nottingham: 71.7 — Despite falling from 35th best law school in the world in 2015 to joint 41st in 2016, Nottingham is still one of the top 10 law schools in the UK. It scored particularly highly in the citations category.
=13. (41) Durham University: 71.7 — Durham law ties with Nottingham for 13th best in Europe, but unlike Nottingham, it has jumped this year. The ancient university was ranked 51st best for law in 2015. This year, it’s 41st.
11. (39) Ruprecht Karls Universitat Heidelberg: 72.3 — Heidelberg University, as it is more commonly known, scored particularly highly in the academic reputation area in QS’ ranking with 82.2. It is the oldest university in Germany.
10. (35) Queen Mary University of London: 73.4 — Queen Mary isn’t a huge name in the UK, but it is one of the top places to study law in Britain. The university, based in Mile End, east London, scored particularly well in the citations category.
9. (33) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven: 73.6 — Aspirant lawyers in Belgium should try and get a degree from Leuven, by far the best place to study law in the country. Located about 15 miles from Brussels, KU scored very highly in QS’ citations category.
8. (28) University of Edinburgh: 77.1 — The sixth oldest university in the English speaking world, Edinburgh has a fierce reputation, and when it comes to the law, it is deserved. Alumni of the university’s law school include the former chief judges of both Botswana, and Swaziland, as well as in Scotland itself.
7. (24) Leiden University: 77.6 — Leiden’s law degree ranks as the best in the Netherlands, with the university — about 50 minutes drive from Amsterdam — scoring particularly well for academic reputation and citations per paper.
6. (20) Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne: 78.6 — Despite being just the sixth best law school in Europe, the Sorbonne is the best outside the UK. It has jumped five places in this year’s QS law school ranking, up from 25th in 2015.
5. (17) King’s College London: 80.5 — King’s is ranked as the third best law school in London, and the fifth best in the UK. It scored highly across the board, but did particularly well in the citations per paper category, according to QS.
4. (14) University College London: 83.4 — UCL’s law school has an auspicious list of alumni, including the leader of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, and former Israeli president Chaim Herzog.
3. (7) London School of Economics and Political Science: 90.1 — Holding the same global position as it did in 2015, the LSE scored higher than 90 out of 100 in all but one category surveyed by QS. It scored highest in the employer reputation index, with 91.2.
2. (3) University of Cambridge: 96.0 — With a score of more than 99 in the employer reputation index, Cambridge is comfortably the second best law school in Europe. The university drops one place from 3rd in 2015, and just misses out on the European top spot.
1. (2) University of Oxford: 96.7 — Oxford nails its place at the top of QS’ ranking of the best law schools in Europe, beating out fierce rival Cambridge. In QS’ ranking of 42 subjects, Oxford ranked best in the world for four.
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