Foreign students are invading top American colleges and universities, taking over precious seats, so isn't it about time that Americans invade theirs? If you're interested in getting a law degree, why not look beyond the United States?
QS Quacquarelli Symonds's QSTopUniversities, which ranks universities around the world, offers a handy chart of the world's top law schools. Here are the top 30 based on academic reputation, employers' views, and citations per faculty member (hat tip: TaxProfBlog):
||Harvard University||United States||100.0||93.8||35.4||91.7|
||University of Oxford||United Kingdom||92.7||100.0||37.9||89.4|
||University of Cambridge||United Kingdom||92.6||91.0||38.0||86.7|
||Yale University||United States||83.0||60.5||31.7||71.1|
||Stanford University||United States||67.4||76.7||29.1||66.4|
|6||University of California, Berkeley (UCB)||United States||75.2||53.9||26.8||64.0|
|7||London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)||United Kingdom||63.5||66.0||24.9||60.4|
|8||Columbia University||United States||61.2||63.9||32.3||59.1|
|9||The University of Melbourne||Australia||57.1||59.7||42.1||56.4|
|10||New York University (NYU)||United States||57.7||57.7||25.1||54.4|
|11||The University of Sydney||Australia||57.0||51.2||43.3||53.9|
|13||University of Toronto||Canada||58.9||43.0||47.8||53.0|
|14||University of Chicago||United States||61.3||43.4||27.2||52.5|
|15||Australian National University||Australia||56.4||45.7||30.3||50.6|
|16||University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)||United States||48.7||53.8||42.7||49.6|
|17||University of Michigan||United States||47.8||51.7||35.1||47.7|
|18||The University of Auckland||New Zealand||48.0||52.3||28.1||47.3|
|19||Victoria University of Wellington||New Zealand||43.8||34.7||100.0||46.7|
|21||Kings College London (University of London)||United Kingdom||44.4||34.8||84.4||45.5|
|22||UCL (University College London)||United Kingdom||47.5||42.3||35.2||44.7|
|23||University of British Columbia||Canada||47.4||30.9||57.6||43.5|
|24||National University of Singapore (NUS)||Singapore||46.2||39.0||20.2||41.4|
|25||University of Pennsylvania||United States||32.4||61.1||31.9||41.0|
|26||Duke University||United States||40.8||44.9||28.6||40.8|
|27||University of Texas at Austin||United States||34.7||46.0||42.9||38.9|
|28||Cornell University||United States||39.2||39.2||27.9||38.1|
|29||The University of New South Wales||Australia||36.7||37.8||40.2||37.4|
|30||University of Otago||New Zealand||32.7||36.3||58.8||36.4|
The QS list covers up to 100 law schools worldwide. Among the top 50 schools, English-speaking schools dominate.
After looking at this QS list, I must say that the U.S. News & World Report rankings of American law schools seem awfully pedestrian. Seriously, if we live in a global economy, why shouldn't you consider going to the U.K. or Australia or Canada for law school? Yes, the legal system is different in those places, law is usually an undergraduate major outside of the U.S., and you'll probably have to overcome bar hurdles if you want to be a lawyer in the U.S.
But, hey, even if you don't end up as a practicing lawyer (which, by the way, could be the case anyway if you go to a lousy American law school), at least you'll get some exposure to a foreign culture. Which is more than you can say for going to a low-ranked law school at $40,000 a year in Nowhere, USA.
Illustration: Cambridge University crest, Wikipedia.
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