Generally, when one thinks of legal studies, the mind turns to venerable institutes of higher learning in developed countries, such as Harvard Law in the U.S. or Oxford, on our shores.
However, many fine Faculties of Law exist in emerging economies, too.
And, while there is an avid focus on the rising cost of education everywhere in the developed world, the cost of obtaining one’s Juris Doctor in India, China or other Asian country may be substantially lower.
As an instance, we quote the price for one year’s tuition at Cornell Law: $79,429.00, which includes miscellaneous fees and living expenses.
Compare that with one year at Asia’s top-rated school, Tsinghua University in Beijing: $5,900.00, including living expenses!
That doesn’t mean your Master of Laws will bear any less weight than a pricey degree from Stanford or any other well-known law faculty.
Globalisation is shrinking our world; making study in a different land and culture ever easier.
Besides, today’s heightened emphasis on international law, immigration law, environmental law and business law fairly demand knowledge from different perspectives.
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?
Let us now take a tour of Asia to visit the best schools for studying law.
Just as so many assume that North America comprises only of the United States, many believe Asia ‘starts’ with China, completely overlooking the fact that this continent actually abuts both Europe and Africa.
As there are excellent schools from which to earn your law degree from scattered all over the continent, we will progress from the closest to the furthest from England, so that we might cover as many as possible.
To be sure, the top school for Legal studies in that region must be the College of Law and Business in Israel.
This privately-funded college was established in 1995, instructing in law both in Hebrew and in English. Less than 20 years later, it initiated an English-language Business programme.
Students may choose that school’s double track programme, through which they could concurrently earn a bachelor’s in Business and their LL.B.
This Faculty of Law runs six different legal clinics including an environmental law clinic that was, among other landmark cases, instrumental in protecting natural gas resources in Israel.
You must budget $39,000.00 for this three- to four-year programme, not including living expenses and other fees. However, you may qualify for a measure of financial aid, either through their scholarship program or through student loans.
NOTE: you must have a good grasp of Hebrew in order to be accepted into this course, as Israeli law requires that subject to be taught at least in part in the country’s native language.
The Oliver Giscard D’Estaing library, on the KIMEP campus, contains the largest collection of English-language books in Asia. Source: Wikipedia
Located in Almaty, Kazakhstan, this private university’s North American-style curriculum is mostly taught in English.
You might wonder about its name, unrelated as it is to location or any alumnus of renown.
It is an acronym, derived from its former, most ponderous name: the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research – isn’t it a good thing they shortened it?
You may have noticed that nowhere in their formal or abbreviated name are any law studies implied, and you would be correct.
However, they have an excellent programme through which you may earn your Master of Laws in International Law or, at the undergraduate level, you may register for their LLB course.
Your fee for their four-year programme is 71,900KZT, which converts roughly to £150.00. That total does not include any other school fees or living expenses.
This may be the best university Faculty of Law that you’ve never heard of!
Instead of following the QS World University Rankings report as we’ve done for other articles in this series, for this article, we appealed to the Law Studies website, who have gone the extra mile to track and rate these smaller facilities.
In fact, although it seems QS is aware of this gem of a university school, they do not rank it at all! That just goes to show that one-stop shopping for excellence in law education is, in itself, a subjective proposition.
Don’t let the name fool you: this campus includes a complete Law College. Furthermore, it is a partner in Erasmus, among other programs.
If you have been looking for an opportunity to become an international student, this could be your chance!
Not only could you study law but you could pick up a second language: all foreign students are given Russian language lessons so that they might adapt to the environment and take part in social and cultural events.
Completing this law study program will give you the skills and prepare you to
advise clients on their legal matters
you may also advise businesses, enterprises and state agencies in matters of the law
work as a tax attorney, a labour lawyer; a litigator or a prosecutor
work as a legal investigator.
Prepare you for LLM programs
Their undergraduate programme is priced at 152,900 rubles, or just under £1,780.
Unfortunately, as yet there is no graduate programme for law studies in their curriculum.
Welcome to Peking University, where enrollment of international students is ongoing! Source: Wikipedia Credit: Galaygobi
In spite of all the bad press this country suffers, it offers a warm welcome to foreign students, with many of its universities offering entire learning programmes in English.
Dalian Maritime University would be such an institution.
Founded in 1909 to address the educational needs of the booming shipping industry, today its campus houses 14 different colleges, among them, their School of Law.
You may select their public law degree programs, a four-year course of study that will cover everything from constitutional law to tax law.
To make applying to their school especially enticing to prospective international students, classes are held in English and they offer financial incentives in the form of scholarships, both for undergraduates and graduate students.
Although more renown for its engineering and computer science programmes, the campus’ Faculty of Law has distinguished itself first by emulating great law schools such as Yale and Harvard.
It was, in fact, during the early days of this law school, a common practice to send their most promising legal scholars to study law at the top law schools in the west. They would then return to their alma mater to help shape the curriculum for the next generation of law students.
Law studies were abandoned in favour of teaching engineering in the early 1950s but public interest revived the study of advocacy in the 1990s.
Today, QS World University Rankings puts Tsinghua at or near the top of the list for judicial studies in China.
Widely considered China’s first modern university since its opening in 1898, this school is synonymous with intellectual superiority, in its home country and throughout the world.
It boasts an amazing study programme for international students; currently, admission to students from around the world is about 2,000.
They are enroled in a variety of programmes; not just law studies.
However, Peking’s law programmes are stellar! They maintain study partnerships with, among others, Cornell and Stanford Universities. As a part of their study programme, students rotate to such partner-universities for a semester of learning abroad.
Imagine being a prospective student at this modern law learning facility! Source: Wikipedia Credit: Gauravk
If innovation in education is the hot topic; Northcap University in Gurugram (outside of Delhi) is turning that heat up with its 5-year study programmes in law and management.
Law fundamentals are taught in the traditional classroom setting. Upon completing that elementary portion of one’s education in the law, s/he may ‘try on’ various specialities through moot court, contributions to their law journal or by participating in any currently open legal clinic.
Where does the management aspect come in?
Professional self-development is essential to the law business. In cultivating management skills alongside legal education, this interdisciplinary program satisfies that requirement.
An internship is compulsory for successful completion of this programme. However, you may intern according to your interest in the law: with a prominent law firm, as a legal advisor for a business or a bank.
Here we are, at the end of our article, and we’ve not yet been to Singapore or Malaysia, whose law programs and world-class learning facilities must be the dream of every law student!
Suffice to say that, studying law in an accredited university does not have to cost thousands of pounds, nor are you restricted to English-speaking countries to earn your law degree.
In fact, the comparative value of studying abroad actually makes these programmes all the more tempting, don’t you think?
It is our pleasure to present some of these lesser-known law programmes. To finish, we submit to you the top universities in Asia where you can study law, as ranked by QS Rankings.
|Name of School||Country||QS Ranking|
|National University of Singapore||Singapore||11|
|University of Tokyo||Japan||23|
|University of Hong Kong||China||25|
|Seoul National University||South Korea||36|
|the Chinese University of Hong Kong||China||49|
|City University of Hong Kong||China||55|