Best in World: Harvard still No. 1, but most US schools drop

Harvard Law School is again the top ranked school in the world, according to a ranking by an international education and study abroad company. But American law schools overall did not fare as well as in prior years.

Quacquarelli Symonds, also known as QS, looked at law schools across the globe, ranking them based on academic reputation, employer reputation and citations per paper.

Two U.S. law schools dropped out of the top 25 this year. The University of Michigan dropped from 24 to 30, and Cornell Law School dropped from 25 to 33. Other American law schools that dropped include Yale Law School, from 2 to 4, Columbia University, from 5 to 8,  Stanford University, from 6 to 9, and University of California – Berkeley, from 12 to 17.

Almost all law schools in the U.K. and Australia moved up in the ranking, including University of Cambridge (pictured), which climbed from No. 4 to No. 2.

National University of Singapore dropped from 10 to 22. It had been the highest ranked school in Asia, but now is below University of Hong Kong at No. 20. It also dropped, from 16 a year ago, but not as far.

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne was the highest ranked European school outside of the U.K., at No.18  It was not in the top 25 a year ago.

QS surveyed employers and academia from around the world working in the field of law. Members of academia, who completed 46,000 responses, were asked to identify the best universities in their field of law. The survey recorded 25,000 responses from employers who were asked to identify which universities produce the best graduates. And the last indicator, citations per paper, was evaluated through SCOTUS. 

In total, 200 schools were ranked, located in areas of Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Belgium and even Chile, to name a few.

Danny Byrne, editor at which publishes the ranking, said it differentiates itself from other world rankings by directing its focus to U.S. and international students, with an emphasis on how these top universities would bring value to the education market and potential employment for the graduates — a big concern for everyone going to law school.

“We wanted to create something that was far more student-focused and less directed on research and stakeholders,” Byrne said.

1 Harvard University United States
2 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
3 University of Oxford United Kingdom
4 Yale University United States
5 The University of Melbourne Australia
6 New York University (NYU) United States
7 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) United Kingdom
8 Columbia University United States
9 Stanford University United States
10 The University of Sydney Australia
11 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
12 The University of New South Wales Australia
13 Monash University Australia
14 Australian National University Australia
15 University of Chicago United States
16 King's College London (KCL) United Kingdom
17 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) United States
18 Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne France
19 Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand
20 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
21 University of Toronto Canada
22 National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore
23 Georgetown University United States
24 The University of Auckland New Zealand
25 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium

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