What are the Best Law Schools in New Zealand?

Last updated: 21 September 2023 Law

Law education encompasses a wide range of legal and civil rights topics. New Zealand is recognized as a top destination for studying law due to its comprehensive programs, international offerings, and welcoming environment. These programs cover everything from justice to enhancing legal practices.

New Zealand law programs allow students to work in the country (full-time during summers and part-time during the school year), and today, we will guide you through the best law universities in New Zealand, followed by the application process and benefits of studying law in New Zealand.

best law schools new zealand

Top Law Schools in New Zealand

The top universities to study Law in New Zealand (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024) are:

1. University of Aukland

The University of Aukland is a public university established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand. It is one of the leading universities for law courses. According to QS World Rankings 2024, the university ranked 68th worldwide and best in NZ. The university has several research centers, like The New Zealand Centre of Human Rights and the NZ Centre for Legal and Political Theory. The university's acceptance rate is 45%, and it offers courses full-time and part-time. 

The University of Auckland’s LLB program combines compulsory law courses, elective law courses, non-law courses from another degree program, and one General Education course. Students learn the legal foundations of different laws, such as contract law, tort law, public law, evidence, etc. In the fourth year, students can choose from various elective courses, allowing them to specialize in a specific area. Students must submit a research thesis and additional advanced coursework for LLB Hons. 

2. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington is a public university established in 1897 and constituent of the University of New Zealand. The university is affiliated with ACU, AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS and is ranked 241 in the QS World Ranking 2024. Victoria University of Wellington offers a full-time social sciences and management LLB program with an acceptance rate of 64%. 

The faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington has a reputation for being challenging and content. Students can hone their skills and gain a solid grounding in various aspects of Law, like legal analysis, statute law, etc. As law students, they can examine legal texts and relationships between people, principles, and techniques. 

3. University of Otago

The University of Otago, established in 1869, is one of the oldest universities in New Zealand. The Matariki Network of Universities affiliated with the university keeps the law faculty at the forefront of legal education. According to the QS World Rankings 2024, the university ranks 206 with an acceptance rate of 58%. 

Throughout the course, students are taught about legal issues, principles, and concepts and get a chance to start their law careers in firms worldwide. The curriculum is structured to enhance their knowledge, decision-making, and negotiation skills. This will help you get employment opportunities in different fields. 

4. University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is a public research university established in 1873 as Canterbury College, a constituent of the University of New Zealand. UCSA, SVA, and Ngai Tahu are affiliated with the university. It ranks under the top 10 for its engineering and science programs. The Canterbury University (Law faculty) provides excellence in academics and legal skills. According to the QS World Rankings 2024, the university ranks 256, with an acceptance rate of 50%. 

The curriculum comprises the core subjects to help students understand the inner workings of the law system. Students will have the opportunity to deal with real people's problems as part of the innovative Clinical studies program, thus crafting their practical skills. Additionally, Criminal Justice offers a unique opportunity for students to become exemplary members of law enforcement and border control. 

5. University of Waikato

The University of Waikato was established in 1964 in Hamilton. The university's faculty of Law is one of the best universities in New Zealand for studying Law. According to the QS World Rankings 2024, the university ranks 250 worldwide, with an acceptance rate of 50%. 

The university's curriculum aims to provide students with a unique skill set to excel in the legal profession. Lawyers and judges will be associated with teaching and assessing assignments with valuable feedback to make the course more engaging., Students will also get practical experience, such as interviewing a client, making a case in court, or negotiating a settlement. During the internship, students can work at the Hamilton District Community Law Centre, firms, and other reputed organizations. You will also be eligible for the National Summer Clerking Employment Programme. 

Why Study Law in New Zealand?

1. Excellent Quality of Education

New Zealand stands out for its top-tier educational system, distinguished teaching methodologies, well-equipped facilities, and highly skilled educators. According to the QS World Rankings, all New Zealand universities rank within the top 3% globally. Graduates from New Zealand can confidently anticipate excellent career prospects on a global scale.

2. Wide variety of courses

One compelling reason to pursue a legal education in New Zealand is the extensive legal study disciplines available. The educational approach emphasizes practical learning, innovation, and research. The law curriculum offers a comprehensive understanding of legal systems and the formation of regulations, spanning various disciplines such as criminal justice degrees.

3. International Perspectives

Given New Zealand's cultural diversity, studying law here provides invaluable exposure to many legal systems and perspectives. This exposure can prove immensely beneficial if you aspire to work in the international or global legal arena.

4. Internships and Work Opportunities

New Zealand's robust economy offers students numerous part-time employment and internship options. The country's legal system is rooted in the British common law tradition, providing an advantageous foundation for practising law and gaining practical experience in New Zealand and other countries.

Law Scholarships in New Zealand

New Zealand universities also offer law scholarships to international students. To apply for the grant, candidates must meet the specific requirements mentioned for each scholarship program. Some of the popular scholarships are -

Application Process for LLB in New Zealand

The application process and seat intake vary from university to university. To know more about the application procedure, speak to an SI-New Zealand consultant. The mode of the application process is online, and applicants must submit the admission form before the due date. The law school requirements for admissions are as follows -

Study Law in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about New Zealand universities and their undergraduate and postgraduate law courses, why not book a free consultation with SI-NZ? Our consultants can discuss your study options and help you apply.


Can international students apply for law programs in New Zealand universities?

Yes, international students can apply for undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs in law. 

Are there scholarships available for law students in New Zealand universities?

Yes, law universities in NZ offer various scholarships to international students. Some popular scholarships are the Faculty of Law Graduate Scholarship by the University of Waikato, the Tongarewa Scholarship by the Victoria University of Wellington, and the Latin American Academic Achievement Scholarship. 

Are there any specialized fields of law offered in New Zealand universities?

There are many specializations available in the legal profession. Disciplines range from taxation to private areas, human rights, health law, criminal justice, and more. However, the important subject areas of Law include Public Law, Commercial Law, International Law, Common Law, and Legal Theory and procedure. 

Can I practice law in New Zealand after completing my degree from a foreign university?

To practice Law in New Zealand, one must apply to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education to have your qualifications assessed. 

Do lawyers get paid well in New Zealand?

The average pay of a lawyer per year in New Zealand is $84,047. The entry-level salary starts at $70,753 per year; on the other hand, the experienced earn up to $123,178 per year.

Universities featured in this article:

  • University of Otago
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Waikato
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