Students considering to pursue legal studies in top-ranked universities abroad, need not restrict their choices to institutes of higher learning in the US or UK, such as Harvard or Oxford. There are many law schools in emerging economies that feature among the very best in the world. The cost of education in the best law schools in Asian countries like China or India is much lower than their European, American, or Australian counterparts. Lower fees do not in any respect indicate a compromise in the quality of education. The Master of Laws will bear any less weight than a pricey degree from Stanford or any other well-known law faculty.
The law schools of top-ranking Asian universities offer law courses that match global standards. Students can expect a truly immersive educational experience, with international exposure and ample opportunities to acquire hands-on training. The law schools in Asia that stand at the top of global university rankings are deeply involved in research, which gives students, access to cutting-edge knowledge in their discipline. It's not without reason that law schools in Singapore, Hong Kong, China receive hundreds of applications from students all over the world, including the west.
The courses taught at these universities include international law, immigration law, environmental law, and business law among others. From the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative to India’s dominance in the technology sector: all of these power-shifting moves will need legal representation: where better to study the laws underpinning these landmark economic proposals than in the countries initiating them?
If you want to know more about your options worldwide, check out our article about the best law schools in the world. Let us now explore some of the best schools for studying law in Asia.
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law is regarded as the leading law school in Asia. In 2021, it was ranked 11th in the world by QS World University Rankings. Singapore's cosmopolitan culture finds reflection in the student demography of the university. Around 10% of the undergraduate students and more than 90% of the graduate students are international students from 35 countries in Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Oceania.
Legal education offered here is comparative, international, and multi-disciplinary. In addition to the core curriculum, students can choose electives in areas such as Asian legal studies, banking, and finance, public information, jurisprudence, and more. Research work supported by new-age technology, state-of-the-art infrastructure, experienced faculty members from across the globe makes this university the best place to study law in Asia. The Singapore Law Review (SLR), Asia's oldest student-run legal publication, is managed exclusively by the students of the National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law. The degree programs offered here are:
- 4-Year LLB Programme
- Business Administration and Law
- Economics & Law
- Law and Yale-NUS B.A. (Hons)
- LL.M.Asian Legal Studies
- LL.M.Corporate and Financial Services Law
- M.Sc. Intellectual Property Management
- LL.M.Intellectual Property and Technology Law
- LL.M.International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
- LL.M.International Business Law
- LL.M.International and Comparative Law
- LL.M.Maritime Law
Students can apply for merit-based scholarships and also receive financial assistance in the form of loans. Apart from the rigor of the course curriculum, the faculty of law ensures that students receive hands-on training through clinical legal education and pro bono work for non-profits. Students are encouraged to participate in mooting competitions through which they get to showcase and sharpen their advocacy skills. Student exchange programs for undergraduate students are available. The university offers excellent housing services to students. The campus is replete with facilities including cafes, food courts, convenience stores, salons, banks, book stores, and more.
University of Hong Kong
The Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) traces its origins to 1969 when a Department of Law was established within the Faculty of Social Sciences. In 1984 the School became a full-fledged Faculty of Law. From the beginning, the Faculty is consciously international in composition and outlook through staff and student exchange programs and other collaborative projects. In 2021, it was ranked 22nd in the world by QS World University Rankings.
The Faculty is an internationally recognized center of research in various areas of law, including public law, comparative Chinese law, commercial and financial law, intellectual property and IT law, international economic law, and medical ethics and law. Law graduates from the university now make up a large proportion of Hong Kong’s legal profession and more than half of its Judiciary. Graduates have also made substantial contributions in government, politics, journalism, and other fields.
- BBA (LAW) & LL.B.
- BSocSc (Govt & Laws) & LL.B.
- BA & LLB
- LL.M. Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
- LL.M. Chinese Law
- M.C.L. Common Law
- LL.M. Corporate and Financial Law
- LL.M. Human Rights
- LL.M. Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law
- Master International and Public Affairs
- LL.M. Master of Laws
- LL.M. Medical Ethics and Law
Both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs are designed to give students an unparalleled learning experience. LLB students can specialize in a core area of law and also opt for minors in non-law disciplines. Students are taught in small supervised groups where their focus is on building communicative, analytical, research skills, and problem-solving skills. They can study in one of the 150 partner universities as part of the exchange program for a year or a semester.
JD students at the university are taught by eminent academics from institutions such as the University of Oxford, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, to name a few. The Faculty also organizes clinical programs, workshops, and mooting competitions. The Master of Law, which is a highly competitive degree program, allows students to get cutting-edge academic knowledge and hands-on experience in different areas of law.
Ranked 23rd in the world by QS World University Rankings, was founded in 1898. Along with providing quality education to students, it also offers a rich and vibrant campus life. Events are organized all around the year which sees participation from local as well as international students. Through these activities, students cultivate their interpersonal friendship, creativity, and leadership. The undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs offered by the law school at Peking University are:
- Bachelor of Laws
- Juris Master
- Master of Laws
- LL.M. Programs in Chinese Law
To give students a holistic learning experience, the law school has international student exchange programs with partner universities. This gives students the opportunity to know about the legal aspects of a foreign country and also experience their culture. There is also a career development office to help students transition into jobs after graduation.
University of Tokyo
Established in 1877, the University of Tokyo is the first national university of Japan. It has been ranked 24th in the world by QS World University Ranking. The law courses offered by this university are taught by experienced and research-driven scholars to ensure that students acquire a thorough understanding of their subject. The Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo plays a pivotal role when it comes to conducting research on law and politics within Japan.
Law is not the only subject of study and research at the Faculty. Rather, legal studies are coupled together with political science as they are inseparable in the context of modern society. The degree program offered at the university is Bachelor of Laws. Students need to fulfill the credit requirements in one of the 3 courses: General Legal Studies, Legal Profession, and Political Science.
The law school has trained many outstanding students and researchers, both from Japan and overseas. Graduates of the Faculty have gone into a broad range of fields, including justice, public administration, politics, economics, journalism, and academics. The number of graduates exceeds 60,000. The university houses a law library that boasts of having one of the world’s largest collections of its kind. The library houses more than 800,000 books, and the majority of them are books published in Western languages.
Apart from being ranked for offering the Best Master's Degrees in International Law in Asia 2021, these schools have also been gaining popularity among students from not only Asia but across the globe, aspiring to establish a career in law practice. The graduate and postgraduate degree programs allow students to take up law courses that fit the paths they have envisioned for their careers.
Apart from these schools, there are a host of other top-ranking law colleges across Asia where the English language is the medium of instruction. Students considering studying law outside India, instead of applying to expensive universities in the US, UK, Europe, or Australia can consider these universities as their destination for higher education.