The top law schools in Australia offer a great learning experience and a pathway to a successful practising or non-practising legal career.
- Law degrees can be tough. To make it enjoyable and intellectually enriching, you should have access to high quality teaching and a variety of electives and double degrees.
- At the same time, your studies should open up diverse career opportunities. The fact is that only a minority of people who start studying law end up as professional lawyers (AFR).
Comparing law schools and degrees
The top law schools and degrees in Australia are shown here. For Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees, the top university programs are identified using statistics on course quality and student outcomes. For Master of Laws (LLM) and Juris Doctor (JD) degrees, the top law schools excel in the areas of reputation and course depth.
Australia's Top Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degrees
A Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is a 4-year degree at most Australian universities and is open to school leavers as well as graduates. The curriculum consists of mostly law units, though some units may be selected from other faculties.
- If you want to do a double degree, your studies will normally be extended to 5+ years.
- 3-year law degrees for school leavers are now available from some universities (e.g. USQ and UNE).
Undergraduate law schools can be compared and ranked statistically.
- The top law schools do consistently well when graduates are asked to rate their satisfaction with the course overall.
- The best law schools also perform well in terms of graduate outcomes, with high average starting salaries and employment rates.
- Currently, the top ranked schools are UNSW, QUT and the University of New England (source: Uni Reviews).
Best Graduate Law Schools (Masters and Juris Doctor)
At a postgraduate level, the best law schools can be judged on reputation and course depth. The top law faculties in our assessment are at the University of Melbourne, UNSW and University of Sydney.
Master of Laws (LLM)
LLM degrees are often specialised and may be as short as 1 year of full-time study. Masters programs are usually intended for law graduates but courses are also available for graduates of other disciplines who wish to learn about legal principles and practice.
Juris Doctor (JD)
JD is a professional degree for university graduates who potentially want to become practising lawyers. It is typically 3 years of study.
- You may prefer doing a JD rather than an LLB as a graduate (which is also typically 3 years).
- Although a JD may be more expensive, it is designed for mature-age students.
- To gain accreditation, you need to do Practical Legal Training after finishing your law degree.