Which Is the Best Law School?

Back in the 70s, then Professor ((pre Dean and pre President)) Harry Arthurs touted Osgoode Hall as the best law school in the Commonwealth.

I’ve just read an extraordinary newsletter from Oxford which lists such an extraordinary range of academic, comparative and pro-bono activities that I wonder whether any other law school could match it.

Whether this is due to the new (Canadian) Dean of the Faculty Timothy Endicott (whom we have saluted before) or just that for the first time, the whole seems larger than its collegiate parts, but page after page manifests intellectual energy and engagement.

And Timothy is in Toronto today.


  1. As Law Librarian at Oxford, (and having had the experience of working at what was reputedly the ‘best’ law school in Australia), it is my impression that you could be right. I think it is fair enough to say that Oxford has an extraordinary faculty, and student population. Timothy is the first ‘real’ Dean – prior to this we had a rotating ‘Chair of the Board’ who was appointed for 2 years while still teaching and researching. So among all his other work, Timothy can focus on spreading the word, and ensuring that there is due recognition of all the achievements of the Oxford Law Faculty; he will be chuffed with this reaction to our newsletter! cheers – Ruth

  2. Unfortunately, it’s not UBC. While it definitely has some excellent features, including some amazing faculty members, it falls quite below par overall.
    In particular, I note lack of overall leadership (what does the dean do there?), lack of teachings expertise in more than a few black letter subjects (corporations and trusts to name just two), focus on social law at the expense of black letter law (hey, we do have to practice too!), and meagre financial support for students.

  3. Oxford law certainly seems to have improved a very great deal over the last few decades. The best? Maybe. (They do, after all, have two of my Osgoode colleagues, the shining stars David Vaver and Les Green.) Who can tell? And — more to the point, perhaps — who should care? There’s a foolish competitiveness among law faculties that generates a lot of wasteful heat and some profits (in America) for the U.S. News and World Report which publishes a ranking. Apparently deans, faculty members and law students beat their chests or breasts and rend their garments, make public statements and indulge in back biting or stabbing, because their institution has had its label changed by a journalist from “22” to “27”. Nuts.