Melbourne Law School has ranked seventh in the first discipline-specific list, published by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is the only Australian university to make the top 20 rankings for law.
The law school of Duke University in the United States claimed honours in first place, followed by Stanford and Yale.
The University of Chicago was ranked number four, while UK institutions the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford fell in fifth and sixth place respectively.
This year is the first time the Times Higher Education subject rankings have included a list for law.
Melbourne Law School dean Professor Jenny Morgan said that the seventh place rank was a reflection of the outstanding research being undertaken at the university. She added that the result was a reflection of dedication by students and staff.
“The ranking is a testament to the outstanding research being conducted by colleagues across the Law School, the teaching excellence in our Juris Doctor and Masters programs, and the international outlook fostered in our research and study partnerships,” Professor Morgan said.
The University of Melbourne also topped the Times Higher Education’s list for “best universities in Australia for 2018”.
According to the ranking, the student cohort at the University of Melbourne numbers over 42,000. Of that total, 40 per cent are international students. The female to male ratio of the student population at the university is about 55 women to 45 men.
Professor Morgan noted that the Law School was focused on improving its offering to ensure that students were prepared for the demands of the modern workforce. This included transforming the program to ensure it met “the demands of the digital world” and equipped graduates with the necessary technical skills, she said.
“The pace of change in the legal profession means that law schools must ensure our graduates are well-placed to navigate the complex legal, ethical and social implications of new technologies,” Professor Morgan said.
The Times Higher Education rankings use 13 separate performance indicators to determine its list. The methodology places different weight on the performance indicators depending on the discipline being ranked.
For law, rankings were determined by evaluating teaching (32.7 per cent); research (30.8 per cent); citations (25 per cent); international outlook from the perspective of staff, students and researchers (9 per cent); and industry income (2.5 per cent).
More generally, the Times Higher Education rankings for 2018 listed the Australian National University among the top 50 institutions to study in the world at 48th place, followed by the University of Sydney in 61st place and then the University of Queensland in 65th place.