I write this ‘top law colleges in India’ list knowing that it will receive a lot of flak. ‘Rankings’ tend to spark emotive responses among students which are expected. (Note: please do read the links mentioned in this post. I hope you find them useful).
I also write this list knowing that I do not have complete information about the colleges. It can be argued that no one can ever have full information about anything. On a practical level too, even the government cannot really come up with a ranking that can be ‘complete’.
Magazines like India Today and Outlook regularly release such a ‘ranking’ initiative year after year only to receive constant criticism.
Then why this list?
As members of the legal media industry, we owe a well-researched, well-thought list to law aspirants. It’s our ‘job’ to be in the know of developments in legal education in India, we try our best to do that, and this list is an honest reflection of that.
I write this list knowing that I have my own prejudices. For one, I am myself a (2013) graduate of NUJS Kolkata.
This is the law college ranking list which I’d hand-over to a young friend or a cousin. No list can satisfy everyone but this list will be better than most.
This is a list which is my personal (but informed and considered) opinion about where law colleges stand today.
What are my qualifications?
I graduated from NUJS Kolkata in 2013 so I know about the NLUs generally and have friends in almost all colleges.
I started this website (www.lawctopus.com) in 2010 while in college. Today we are trusted by over 2 lakh readers a month. Lawctopus is the website for law students in India and we can confidently say that we keep in the ‘know’ of law schools more than any other entity in India.
I wrote a book called ‘Law as a Career’ (published by LexisNexis) in 2015. The first edition had 6 reprints and did pretty well.
Here’s the List of Top Law Colleges in India For a 5 Year Law Course (2019)
1. NLSIU Bangalore
2. NALSAR Hyderabad
3. NUJS Kolkata
4. NLU Delhi
5. NLU Jodhpur/NLIU Bhopal (no rankings within the same tier).
8. RMLNLU Lucknow/Amity Law School Delhi/NUALS Kochi/Christ Bangalore
9. Reputed Central/State Universities (Jamia Millia, Benaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Panjab University)/NLU Odisha/RGNUL Patiala.
(For colleges mentioned in point 9: Prefer the NLUs if you want to keep corporate career options option. Prefer the Central/State Universities for better faculty and enjoying the benefits of staying closer to home, if that’s the case for you. Money/time saved by being at home can be invested elsewhere).
Checking placements’ data
Many parents and law aspirants tend to look at placements while choosing a law college. While placements are not the be-all and end-all of law school rankings, they do provide useful indicators toward taking a final call.
I won’t go to the extent of saying that the rankings don’t matter at all. They do. But fortunes can be turned-around in what you do in 1800+ days of a 5-year course.
Here’s how it works.
If you are at an NLSIU Bangalore and not in a lesser ranked NLU, your chances of getting a top law firm job (if you want that) right after graduation are much higher.
However, assume that corporate law is your calling. In the first year after graduating from a lesser-ranked NLU, you can easily make it to a well-run small/mid-tier law firm. After a year or two or three of working, you can easily make it to the bigger law firms (there’s a lot of churning which happens in the corporate world).
The best and reputed colleges also give you access to a stellar alumni network. Again, with a solid ‘body of work’ behind you, you can establish that on your own too!
Written by Tanuj Kalia.
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