The study of law has been a highly respected pursuit for centuries. Around the world, a degree in law is synonymous with intellectual prowess, prestige and – perhaps above all – an enviable paycheck. Even on the back of economic doldrums in the West, lawyers are still among the best-paid professionals in their respective countries.
But studying law is about much more than aspiring to earn top dollar. This is an intensely challenging field, and those complete their studies reaffirm their own intellectual aptitude, work ethic and problem-solving abilities. Not only do law school graduates have a firm grasp on the rule of law and how plays out in society, they are also in a prime position to make a difference. For many, this ability to champion justice and effect change is a core motivation to study law.
Beyond this, developing and recently developed nations in Asia are exerting greater economic and political force on the world stage than ever before. This is driving an increasing number of aspiring students of law in Asia to broaden the scope of their studies and earn their degree overseas. The life experience they gain studying law abroad is invaluable, and it has direct applications at home.
Why study law abroad?
This is an important question that anyone who is serious about studying law in a foreign country considers at one point or another. The answer comes down to a matter of scope. Anyone planning to practice law in their home country may very well get better mileage out of a law degree from a local university. However, a significant number of modern law students have much broader aspirations.
Many law students aspire to work in a more international environment. Earning your credentials abroad demonstrates flexibility and an awareness of foreign legal systems. The study of law is no longer just for those who plan to practice criminal or civil law. Today, law degrees follow a much broader arc of specialization. Students can major in everything from intellectual property law and mediation to human rights and environmental law. Graduates’ careers take them into courtrooms, classrooms and the corporate world at large.
Furthermore, given the increasingly interconnected state of the world, anyone who plans to practice commercial law or international criminal law does well to earn their qualifications at a foreign university. The chance to perfect a foreign language, alone, is a strong selling point. Add to this the ability to compare international legal systems and the experience gained in approaching foreign legal affairs from an objective standpoint, and a law degree from an international university becomes an obviously valuable commodity.
In response to this, law schools around the world have introduced a greater selection of degree programs tailored to international students. Coursework in international law is increasingly popular, and many schools offer joint degrees such as law with foreign language, law with business or law with politics. All of these specialization tracks have broad international applications.
Strong schools of law are found across the West – in the UK and Europe, Australia and North America. When it comes to choosing the best, prioritize the strength and reputation of the law school’s programs over its location.
With that in mind, the following are among the leading law schools for Asian students:
STRATHCLYDE LAW SCHOOL
Scotland’s top law school, Strathclyde Law School has been in operation since 1964. That top status along with recognition as the joint-first in the UK in terms of graduate prospects has brought this law school to the top of many Asian students short-lists of preferred candidates. Read the full profile here…
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST, SCHOOL OF LAW
Queen’s University Belfast School of Law has been teaching law in Northern Ireland for more 165 years. The school is a top performer and ranked in the top ten in the UK during the most recent research assessment exercise (RAE). In short, this is a school that works well ahead of the competition. Read the full profile here…
UNSW Law is one of Australia’s most prestigious law schools. It has been in operation for more than 40 years and provides world-class law instruction to student’s across the Asia-Pacific region. Given the school’s stringent admission requirements, those who graduate with a law degree from UNSW enjoy international career opportunities. Read the full profile here…
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, SCHOOL OF LAW
This is one of the most prestigious schools of law in the UK, with a tradition that dates to 1872. The school maintains strong links to international law firms in London and operates a dynamic student exchange program with universities across Europe as well as Australia and the US.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON LAW CENTER
This leading US law school offers a suite of highly sought-after specialty programs, three of which have been earned top-ten recognition by US News & World Report. International students are drawn to the center’s Summer LLM program, which allows foreign-educated lawyers to earn US law qualifications in as little as six months.