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The Best Law Universities in the UK

by Douglas Matus, studioD

Law programs in the United Kingdom exist within a legal tradition that stretches back centuries. Students in these programs benefit from a high degree of legal refinement, and also from the academic integrity of some of the world’s oldest universities. As the country that brought legal standards to the United States and India, the U.K. also provides an excellent environment for the study of international law. Independent rankings organizations have recognized the best law programs among Britain’s universities.

University College London

The program at University College London gained the top spot on the 2014 “The Guardian” list of the UK's best law schools. Recognized as one of the world’s best universities, UCL has such illustrious alumni as Gandhi and Alexander Graham Bell, and in 2009 won its 21st Nobel Prize. The Faculty of Law at UCL, founded in 1826, thrives upon the rich history of English legal procedure. Located in the center of Bloomsbury, the Faculty of Law immerses students in a dynamic intellectual environment. In a 2008 UK governmental poll, UCL placed first in both categories of legal research.

University of Oxford

“The Telegraph” recognized University of Oxford as its number one choice in rankings of the top ten law universities in the U.K. Oxford invests more money per law student than any other school in the UK. The Faculty of Law at Oxford allows students to study under the tutelage of top legal scholars like John Armour and Andrew Ashworth. With more than 30 schools within the Oxford system, the Faculty of Law at Oxford represents one of the largest legal educational networks in the world. Oxford also has the only graduate law program with individual tutorials as a standard part of the curriculum.

London School of Economics

“The Guardian” and “The Telegraph” both selected London School of Economics as the third-best law program in the U.K. Students at LSE benefit from exposure to the most diverse student population in the U.K., with nearly 47 percent of enrollees from international backgrounds. The Department of Law at LSE places an important focus on interdisciplinary cooperation, reflected in its location within the School of Social Sciences. With such a diverse international blend of faculty and students, LSE presents an ideal environment to study the world’s common law heritage. LSE further specializes in sub-sections of law like banking law, civil litigation and labor law.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University won the second highest ranking among U.K. law programs from “The Telegraph” and the fourth highest from “The Guardian.” The UCAS points system, a British academic survey of university students, recognizes Cambridge law students as its highest achievers. Cambridge has hosted law classes since its founding in the 13th century, and its alumni group boasts two former Presidents of the International Court of Justice and several members of the Supreme Court of the U.K. With six law degrees available, the Faculty of Law at Cambridge delivers its expertise across the widest possible collegiate spectrum.

About the Author

Douglas Matus is the travel writer for "West Fort Worth Lifestyle" magazine, and spent four years as the Director of Humanities for a college-prep school in Austin. Since 2005, he has published articles on education, travel and culture in such publications as "Nexus," "People's World" and "USA Today." Matus received an Education Pioneers fellowship in 2010 and an MFA from CalArts in 2011.

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