The world’s top 10 Universities to study law
Published 27/02/2012 | 10:36
The top 10 universities in the world to study law according to the QS World University Rankings 2011/2012.
1: Harvard University
Harvard University's Law School, the alma mater of US President Barack Obama, comes out on top of this year's QS World University Rankings 2011/2012. While at Harvard, almost as a hint of things to come, Obama became the first black president of the prestigious student-run law journal, the Harvard Law Review.
In an interview, the 28 -year old said of the university: "That's what a Harvard education should buy - enough confidence and security to pursue your dreams and give something back."
2: University of Oxford
Oxford takes second spot with its world-renowned faculty of law. Oxford's BAs in law are designed to occupy students for about 45 hours per week in term time and a substantial amount of holiday time. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured) took a 2:1 in jurisprudence from St John's College, Oxford in 1975.
3: University of Cambridge
The second of three UK universities to make the world's top ten for law, Cambridge has a notoriously competitive admissions process and aims to develop a high level of skill in comprehension, analysis and presentation. As part of the application process, prospective students are required to sit an entrance exam. A specimen essay question goes as follows: Should people be regarded as having fundamental moral rights, quite independently of law? If so, how should we decide what those rights are?
4: Yale University
Yale Law School enrolls only 200 new students a year and is one of the most selective in the US. It has so far educated two US presidents: Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton, and has a scholarly reputation that results in a relatively large number of graduates choosing a career in academia upon graduation.
5: Stanford University
At the Law School Class of 2011 graduation, George Fisher, co-director of Stanford Law School's Criminal Prosecution Clinic told a story about a time when he lacked the courage of conscience and followed his boss' orders to prosecute a woman driver who had been driving at normal speed on a dark night and killed a man lying in the road. The woman showed great remorse and it was clear to Fisher that it was nothing more than a tragic accident.
In his address he urged the graduates to learn from his mistakes: "I had a decision to make. I could live by my own conscience and withdraw from the case, or I could cave to his command."
In the end he went against his conscience and followed his boss's orders.
"To my good fortune I lost....You will face pressures like those I faced – pressure to please your boss or client, pressures to succeed or burnish your pride. Sometimes those pressures will accord with your conscience and the governing rules of ethics. When they do not, take pause. Set aside the pressures of the moment. Then walk 10 steps down the road and look back at yourselves. Don't leave yourself wondering, as I did, why your courage went wanting."
6: University of California, Berkeley
The School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, is otherwise known as Berkeley Law or Boalt Hall and is regarded as one of the US' most prestigious and competitive. University alumni have a track record for securing top roles in the US government and can get a feel for the court room in the university's 'moot court' where they pit their wits against real judges.
7: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
LSE, the third UK university to make the world's top ten for law, prides itself on having "a uniquely cosmopolitan student body and deeply influencing legal education in most common law countries." Each year the university organises a weekend away for staff and students in order to discuss law-related issues in an informal and relaxed environment. The Law Society is one of the university's most popular societies while the law events schedule is always full of topical and interesting lectures.
8: Columbia University
Law at Columbia dates back to the 1800s and the university counts two presidents of the United States as former alumni (Franklin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt). One of the most competitive of all the US law degrees, only 12 per cent of applicants were accepted in 2010.
9: The University of Melbourne
Ranked the best law school in Australia, Melbourne Law School has educated four Australian prime ministers and has a history dating back more than 150 years. Each year the School welcomes a number of international visiting lecturers from universities including the Oxford and New York. Approximately 50 visiting lecturers will have passed through Melbourne Law School by the end of this year.
10: New York University (NYU)
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was once a student at the Manhattan-based law school that admitted 476 of the 8,000 students who applied in 2010.