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Australia: Subject Guides

The best law schools in Australia

When researching study destinations for a law degree you might want to consider Australia. The country has some of the best law schools in the world. Let’s explore.

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Being a lawyer means having an eye for detail, verbal dexterity, critical thinking skills and working under pressure. To develop this portfolio of abilities you’ll need to have excellent guidance, instruction, teaching and practice. That’s where a good law school comes into its own. While having a degree from a prestigious institution can help your career aspirations, the foundation it provides for your professional practice is just as important. In this guide, turn our attention to Australia and the top law schools in the country. 


We’ve made use of a few well-known university rankings to put together our list. These are the QS World University Rankings by subject 2021 and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. These rankings rate critical areas such as teaching, research and international outlook. 


University of Melbourne 


We start our journey of the best law schools in Australia on the south-eastern coast of Australia, in the world-famous city of Melbourne. Here we find the University of Melbourne, which is the second oldest institution in the country. Located just north of the central business district, this urban university boasts Australia’s number one university title according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 (THE). That’s not all. It is also the top-rated university in the country for law on both the THE and QS World University Rankings by subject 2021 (QS). 


The Melbourne Law School occupies the enviable position of being ranked by both THE and QS as a top 20 global school for the subject. The university has a large and diverse student community of 54,000, with 44 per cent of students coming from an international background. Those graduating from the institution also enjoy the opportunities provided by more than 1,600 student internship partners. Further, those in possession of a degree from the university have a good chance of finding work with 97 per cent of those with an undergraduate qualification finding work in three to five years (Graduate Outcomes Survey). 


Investigate where you can study law in Australia


University of Sydney


The healthy competition between the city of Sydney and Melbourne continues on the higher education front. The University of Sydney is considered to be one of the premier universities in the country and a top 100 global institution according to the Time Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. The University of Sydney Law School is placed in 3rd spot in Australia and the top 20 globally by the QS World University Rankings 2021. 


With a 170-year history, the university has a student community of 73,000 strong. The law school offers numerous qualifications in the subject including LLB, LLM, Juris Doctor and research degrees. The research produced by the school is also acknowledged as being above world standard by the Australian Research Council. What adds to the institution's allure is that the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 place Sydney at number one in the world and 4th globally for graduate employment, including for aspiring lawyers


Explore more about the best universities in Australia.


Australian National University 


Australian National University has the distinction of being able to call the country’s capital Canberra home. The university dates back to 1946 and counts six Nobel Laureates among its alumni. It hosts a significant international student cohort of over 6,400 students and enjoys a student to faculty ratio of 9:1. The university enjoys a prestigious reputation, not only for law but also numerous other subjects including philosophy, politics, sociology and geology. 


Australian National University is widely regarded as one of the finest institutions in the southern hemisphere. Its law offering is rated at number three in Australia and the top 100 worldwide by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The QS World University Rankings by subject 2021 places the institution in the top 20 globally and 4th in Australia for law. The ANU College of Law has a stated focus on top-quality legal education, community outreach and excellent research. 


Find out what it’s like to be an international student in Australia


University of Queensland 


Over 100 years old and based in Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland, the University of Queensland has an international student cohort of 20,213 students from 142 countries. With a total student headcount of over 55,000, 19,900 of which are postgraduate students the university is widely recognised for its research. Students also have plenty to keep them busy with over 220 student societies and clubs on offer. 


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings rate the university in Australia's top five law schools and the 100 best in the world. This opinion is closely shared by the QS World University Rankings 2021, which ranks the law school in the world’s top 50 and as one of the best 10 universities for law in Australia. The law school also specialises in several research areas including commercial and corporate; legal systems; environment and natural resources; public law; and international law. 


Take some time to investigate the law specialisations you could pursue. 


Monash University 


Another of Melbourne’s well-known institutions Monash University consistently ranks within the top 100 universities worldwide. It is also a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, which is an alliance of Australian universities globally recognised for world-class teaching and research. The university is ranked at number five in Australia for law by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and in the same spot by the QS World University Rankings by subject 2021. 


Monash University is the largest institution in Australia and also enjoys global collaborations and partnerships including in Canada, India and Singapore. Monash offers both in-person instruction and online courses, with international and offshore students making up over 41,000 members of the student population. The Faculty of Law welcomed 4,129 students onto a multitude of programmes including graduate diploma, certificate, master’s and PhD degrees in the subject. 


With a better understanding of the top Australian universities for a law degree, you’re in a good position to think about making an application. Further, you can find out why to study in Australia. Make sure that you’ve got all your ducks in a row too by following the latest student news


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