Top 10 Best Law Universities In South Africa (2023)

Just like any other field of human endeavor, some places of learning tend to perform better at some particular subjects. The best law universities in South Africa are therefore some of the top institutions in the country where students can go to arm themselves with knowledge of the law so as to equip themselves to have good careers as lawyers.

These institutions have attained this reputation over the years by providing rigorous training to their students, many of whom have gone on to excel as legal luminaries, fighting for the oppressed, and making huge fortunes for their work.

Of course, these institutions also offer other courses of study aside from law; but for the sake of focus, these are South Africa’s most prominent law colleges.

Best Law Universities In South Africa

1. University Of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university which has gained the reputation of being the first place to consider when searching a place to study law in South Africa. This institution was founded in 1829, and has maintained a tradition of excellence ever since.

Law has been a strong suit of this institution ever since its founding as South African College. This institution is located in Cape Town in the South African province of Western Cape; meaning that it offers students a chance to enjoy the beauty and leisure of Cape Town, while they are immersed in the rigorous nature of studies at this university.

This is one of the most popular law colleges in the country; there are almost 1,000 students in the law faculty. Nevertheless, UCT has a long history of producing qualified lawyers, many of whom have contributed to strengthening South African democratic processes.

Students from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania frequently study at this institution.

2. University Of Witwatersrand

The University of Witwatersrand was founded in 1896; as the school of mining. Since then this institution has grown in size and stature, becoming one of the top universities in South Africa. The University of Witwatersrand is one of the best places to study law; it was one of the earliest places to active student participation in politics.

Wits University produced the great Nelson Mandela, and many other great men and women. Even today the institution has a politically charged atmosphere; students are seen discussing the impact of policies, laws and other aspects of society. Wits University has produced four Nobel Laureates- it is a breeding ground for great men and women.

The School of Law aims to provide an innovative approach to legal studies, while teaching the students to stay true, and to fight for what they believe in.

3. Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is located in the Western Cape Province and is one of the oldest citadels of learning below the Sahara Desert. This is an institution that has maintained a very high standard of learning, and is now one of the foremost learning institutions in Africa as a whole.

As a public research university, Stellenbosch is all about innovation; and that is why the institution has won several awards. This university has one of the largest legal libraries in Africa, which perhaps explains why students from over 80 countries converge at Stellenbosch to prepare themselves for their careers.

The Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch has produced many top lawyers and politicians in the country; the environment is designed to motivate students to become the best they can be.

4. University Of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of the largest and oldest South African institutions; it was established in 1908. Located in Pretoria; the administrative center of South Africa, this institution offers a chance to see in practice what is learnt in the classrooms.

This is an excellent place to study law; and students are motivated to participate in political processes; especially as it is so close to all the courts and chambers of legislature.

The student population includes nationals from several other African countries; they all converge to gain tutelage from this prestigious institution which is ranked among the 80 best law schools worldwide.

5. University Of Kwazulu-Natal

The University of KwaZulu-Natal was established in 2004 from the merger of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal. It is a top university; especially for the study of in health sciences and law.

Located in KwaZulu-Natal, which is one of the cultural centers of South Africa, this university is one of the most popular in the country. This is a place where students can study, and can at the same time learn about the culture of South Africa. Here, students can become immersed in law, and can become involved in the political processes of the country.

6. University Of The Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape was founded in 1904. It is one of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the country. This University is also historically significant; it played an important role in the fight against racial discrimination in South Africa.

The Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape is known for its commitment to a culture of human rights and constitutionalism. This is a place where students are encouraged to study law so that they can make a difference in the country, not just because of the big pay-cheques that come with successful careers in law.

7. University Of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg was established in 2005 through a merger of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) and the Vista University’s Soweto and East Rand campuses. Therefore, despite its recent date of establishment its history goes back to the 1960’s.

This institution is a public institution which has a strong leaning towards research. This is one of the best universities in South Africa overall; it is excellent for engineering as well as other aspects of science. The university is also one of the top places to study law.

The University of Johannesburg has a student body of 50,000; and 3000 of that number come from 80 countries around the world.

8. Rhodes University

Rhodes University was founded in 1904; it belongs to an elite class of universities that have been in continuous operation for more than 100 years. The university is located in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. This university has a good acceptance rate, and balances it out by having a high number of former students who have gone on to have great careers.

Studying here is a good first step to becoming a notable lawyer, no matter what country the student comes from.

9. North-West University

North-West University is a prestigious university in South Africa; it was formed in 2004, through a merger of the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, and the University of North-West. The university operates multiple campuses, and has a student body of about 68,000 students, a significant number of whom come from other African countries.

This university has a high acceptance rate so the chances of being accepted are very good. The Faculty of Law of the institution has built a reputation for high-quality legal education.

This is a great place to equip oneself with the knowledge and skills to have a successful legal career.

10. University Of The Free State

The University of the Free State is a public research university, which was established in 1904 in Bloemfontein. This is one of the oldest institutions in South Africa; one that has continued to maintain that tradition of excellence, and continued growth.

The university has a student population of more than 31,000 students, and many of its students come from other countries.

This university’s law faculty has long been associated with producing conscientious lawyers; people who go on to make a real difference in society, not just running after money.



The best law universities in South Africa are places that have built the reputation for producing high quality lawyers. However, the students have the responsibility to study hard so that they can prove themselves worthy of having the type of careers they desire as legal luminaries in their respective countries.