What Makes a Good Law School? The Law School Rankings UK

Law school rankings for the UK can vary according to your source, but we are here to explain the differences and what to look out for.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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Table of Contents

The UK Law School rankings are a popular way to assess all the courses available.

From this prospective students gain valuable insight into the course and the universities. 

The UK Law School rankings vary according to your source, so it is essential to know what to look out for. 

Overall Law School Rankings

As expected, Oxford and Cambridge will always be found in the top three Law Schools in the UK. Where they are ranked though will likely be different from table to table so keep that in mind. 

The Complete University Guide 2022 rankings

When considering the tables, it is important to remember there are more factors to take into consideration than the university being acclaimed. Entry standards, student satisfaction and graduate prospects are a few examples that are considered. 

A key consideration to keep in mind is also what the content of the course is. There is no point applying for somewhere purely because it is ranked highly when it does not cover topics relevant to you. A notable example of this is the University of Glasgow – which is currently ranked fifth by both The Complete University Guide and The Guardian – because it is a Scottish university, it is crucial to be aware of the difference in their courses. 

The Scots Law course is fine for those wishing to practice in Scotland. However, they also offer a Common Law course covering jurisdictions such as England and Wales, Ireland, Canada, the USA and even India.  

Therefore, it is crucial when you look at the rankings to consider where you actually wish to practice Law and subsequently what you want to get out of your degree. 

The Guardian 2022 rankings
The Times 2022 rankings, showing the comparison between UK and global positions

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More Than Just Numbers

Though the tables are presented with the “best” at the top, that may not be what you are looking for with your degree. 

The Guardian and Complete University Guide rankings allow you to re-order the league tables according to criteria that are important to you, such as staff to student ratio, student satisfaction, and graduate prospects.

By being able to filter the tables in this way, you can best determine what university is suited to you. 

UK Law Schools vs International

The prestige of the university’s Law School is obviously important. The Times World Law School University Rankings, for example, regularly place Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, and other London universities among the top in the world. This means you can be assured of a world-class education in law that employers will respect.

The Times World Law School rankings also factor in other criteria not considered by The Guardian or The Complete University Guide – notably the ratio of male to female students. 

It is interesting to note from the table above that two internationals Law Schools often considered the most prestigious to attend – Havard and Yale – are ranked lower than Oxford and Cambridge and feature in seventh and ninth. 

Know What You Are Looking For In A Law Degree

It may seem obvious, but with the masses of data and information these tables assess, it is essential to know what you want to get out of your time at university. 

Some considerations could be: 

  • Do you want a high staff to student ratio, as this is how you learn best?
  • Do you want the most prestigious Law School?
  • Do you want high student satisfaction?

Having these questions in mind will help you navigate the UK Law School rankings and ensure you get the most out of them. 

A Starting Point on Law Schools

Keep in mind that the UK Law School rankings should be really considered a starting point, from which you ought to carry out further research. 

One such point that may come up in research is the question of an LLB or a BA in Law. Neither Oxford nor Cambridge offer an LLB, meaning; students come out of their three years with a BA. 

For those wishing to continue onto a solicitor or barrister qualification will have to complete a conversion course in order to do so. 

There is a considerable debate around whether it is best to study Law at undergraduate level or take another subject and do a Law conversion. Honestly, the choice is really up to the student. They may like another subject and want to combine their love for both courses with a Law conversion, or they might be passionate about doing a wholly Law undergraduate degree. 

Another important step in the research is to see whether the university you are interested in requires the LNAT, and to begin preparations for that. Cambridge offers their own Admissions Test known as the CLT

Ultimately the Law School rankings are a helpful tool that should be used as a springboard for further research. 


Take the rankings into consideration but do not decide on them. Use them to do further research and determine whether they meet the requirements you have laid out. 

What is key is that the only thing that matters is what works for you. What you are looking for might not be what someone else wants. That is fine. So consider the rankings but form your own opinions. 

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With our Oxbridge Law Premium Programme we help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive Admissions Test score and teach you how to Interview effectively.

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