PhD in Law

7 minute read
PhD in Law

Regarded as the highest degree in varied academic disciplines, a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) aims to provide students with a chance to delve deeper in a specific area of study. For a field like Law, a doctoral degree is suitable for those wanted to pursue their career as legal scholars and teachers. A PhD in Law incorporates intense coursework following with detailed research in the chosen specialization. The program is devised for students who want to gain in-depth knowledge and advanced studies in the domain. If you also want to secure a doctorate degree in Law, you should definitely aim for attaining overseas education for the same. Through this blog, we will elucidate various aspects of PhD in Law, the eligibility criteria you need to fulfil, course structure and specialisations as well as top universities.


Commonly offered as a 3-year degree, a PhD in Law implements a multidisciplinary approach and aims to impart students with the required theoretical background and research skills in the former part of the program while they are required to prepare their dissertation during the latter part. Often pursued as a full-time course, this degree prepares individuals for several leadership roles in Judiciary, Business, Academics as well as Government.

Specialisations Offered

There are a plethora of concentrations available under PhD in Law which applicants can choose from. These courses connect the vast discipline of law with its relevant sub-fields, hence students can opt for a unique course and specialize in the same. Selecting a particular specialization also helps delving deeper into it by pursuing research. Take a look at the following list of PhD in Law specialisations: 

  • PhD in Interdisciplinary Law
  • PhD in International Law
  • PhD in Legal Studies 
  • PhD in Cyber Law
  • PhD in Civil Law 
  • PhD in Jurisprudence 
  • PhD in Administrative Law Studies 
  • PhD in Environmental Law 
  • PhD in National Law Studies 
  • PhD in Dispute Resolution  

Check Out: Law Subjects

Course Structure

The curriculum and syllabus of a PhD in Law can vary as per the specialisation as well the academic institution. But in order to provide you with a general overview, the following paragraphs describe the structure of this doctoral degree as followed for a 3-year program.

  • In the first year of a PhD in Law, students get to focus on the coursework of their specialisations with their prospective Advisory Committees. Along with this, it also comprises a seminar regarding legal scholarships and methodologies. With all this, the degree also incorporates canonical workshops of legal scholarships in the first semester of the year. In the second semester, students are required to present a report on the same. 
  • During the second year, you will get to work with the faculty dissertation committee. Students have to present the dissertation in a manuscript of almost a book’s length or 3 articles that can be published thus constituting the portfolio. Afterwards, the committees will provide their views on one’s dissertation prospectus and give their seal of approval if they liked the topic. Apart from this intense research work of PhD in Law, students ought to compulsorily participate in teaching activities where they can work as teaching assistants, co-teaching with faculty etc.  
  • In the third year, students can either continue with their teaching as a professor of Law or they can go on with improvising their dissertation. In many cases, one can devote themselves to their research projects while pursuing teaching and at the conclusion of the third year, they will be required to submit their dissertation. However, the extension of the duration can also happen depending upon case-to-case basis.

Eligibility For PhD in Law

To get enrolled in any degree, candidates need to meet certain prerequisites specified for the course by the institution. Since there are a lot of specializations available for PhD in Law, the eligibility criteria tend to differ from one university to another. Below listed are some essential requirements that you need to fulfil in order to apply for the program:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Law such as LLB or any other related discipline 
  • Master’s degree in Law, i.e. LLM although some universities may allow candidates having a postgraduate degree in similar disciplines  
  • Students are also required to qualify the LSAT exam with a good score. 
  • Research Proposal (Around 1000 words): Describing the scope of the project along with undertaken dissertation. 
  • Personal Statement (600-1000 words): Should creatively cite the motivation of the candidates wanting to pursue PhD.
  • Writing Samples
  • Candidates have to qualify any of the English language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or their equivalent.
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR), Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • It is recommended for the candidates to have a well-designed Curriculum Vitae.

Note: The above-mentioned requirements are only general criteria and aspirants are advised to check the eligibility prerequisites of their chosen PhD in Law at the official university website.   

Top Universities Offering PhD in Law

Deciding the right university for a course can be a strenuous task and requires professional help. Leading law schools and universities around the globe possess the necessary capabilities to transform the personalities of enrolled students. These extra-edge attributes can help you have a kickstart in your career and convert your career aspirations into success. To grab a taste of global exposure and a plethora of opportunities in this field, here are some top-notch universities offering PhD in Law that you must consider:

Also Read: Law Entrance Exams India & Abroad    

Top Colleges In India

Tabulated below are the top colleges in India offering a PhD in law. You can have a look here:

Name Of The College/ Institute  Location  Average Fees In INR 
IIT Kharagpur  Kharagpur  80,000
NLU Jodhpur  Jodhpur  1,10,000
NLASAR Hyderabad  Hyderabad  2,10,000
SLS Pune  Pune 2,40,000
NUJS Kolkata  Kolkata  65,000
GNLU Gandhinagar  Gandhinagar  1,40,000

Entrance Exams in India

There are various entrance exams in India which you can apply for and attempt in order to be selected for a PhD in Law. They are mentioned below.

Name Of Entrance Exam  Date Of Exam  Body Conducting Exam 
CSIR – UGC NET Exam  December and June  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research India 
ICMR Junior Research Fellowships  July  The Indian Council Of Medical Research 
JRF-GATE  February  Council Of Scientific and Industrial Research India 
NIPER PhD Entrance Exam  June  National Institute Of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER)

PhD in Law: Distance Education

Did you know that you can pursue a PhD in law through distance education? A lot of established and good colleges as well as universities offer the course part-time or through correspondence. Tabulate below are some of the important colleges that offer PhD in Law through distance learning.

Name Of College/ University  Average Fees
The National University of Advanced Legal Studies  INR 80,750
Alliance University, Bangalore  INR 3.5 lakhs
Chanakya National Law University, Patna INR 1.14 lakhs
Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow  INR 1.61 lakhs 
Sharda University, Greater Noida  INR 1.5 lakhs

PhD Law Admission Process 

There are two ways of getting admission in Phd in Law. You can either get a direct admission or through merit. 

Direct Admission

  • For direct admission you must get the admission form from the college or university. You can get ot both offline and online.
  • To get the application form you can go on the official website of the institute or college and fill the form there. You can upload it there and then.
  • Once you have completed filling the application form you must go to the college for counselling and also attend the round of personal interview.

Merit Based Admission 

  • The important exams conducted to give admission on the basis of merit include JMI Law Entrance Exam, CLAT, AILET – All India Law Entrance Test, NET – National Eligibility Test, PET – PhD Entrance Test. 
  • Students can apply for these exams both offline and online. The forms for the respective exams can be downloaded on their official websites. 
  • Admission will be given on the basis of the subsequent marks obtained by students in these exams. 

Important Books

Tabulated below are the important books you can refer to while pursuing a PhD in Law. You can check it out here: 

Name Of The Book  Name Of Author 
Research Methods In Law Dawn Watkins, Mandy Burton 
Getting a PhD in Law  Caroline Morris, Cian C Murphy 

Thus, we hope that this blog elaborating the several aspects of a PhD in Law has helped you understand what this degree entails. If you are planning to study a doctoral degree in Law and don’t know where to start, sign up for a 30-minute free career counselling session with our experienced counsellors at Leverage Edu and we’ll guide you in selecting a suitable specialisation as well as the university that can equip you with the required knowledge and exposure to advance your career in this domain.

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