PhD in Law

8 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 into 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 followed by 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 from 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 to delve 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 on 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 on a case-to-case basis.

Top Universities Abroad 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:

QS Ranking 2023University NameCountryFees
1Harvard UniversityUSAUSD 67,000 (INR 55 Lakhs)
2University of OxfordUKGBP 27,000 (INR 27 Lakhs)
3University of CambridgeUKGBP 31,000 (INR 31 Lakhs)
4Yale UniversityUSAUSD 69,000 (INR 57 Lakhs)
5Stanford University USAUSD 47,000 (INR 38 Lakhs)
6New York University USAUSD 73,000 (INR 60 Lakhs)
7The London School of Economics and Political ScienceUKGBP 26,000 (INR 26 Lakhs)
8Columbia University USAUSD 55,000 (INR 55 Lakhs)
9University of California, BerkeleyUSAUSD 69,000 (INR 57 Lakhs)
10University of ChicagoUSAUSD 61,000 (INR 50 Lakhs)

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
NALSAR Hyderabad Hyderabad 2,10,000
SLS Pune Pune2,40,000
NUJS Kolkata Kolkata 65,000
GNLU Gandhinagar Gandhinagar 1,40,000

Entrance Exams in India

There are various entrance exams in India that 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, PatnaINR 1.14 lakhs
Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow INR 1.61 lakhs 
Sharda University, Greater Noida INR 1.5 lakhs

Important Books

Tabulated below are the important and informative 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 LawDawn Watkins, Mandy Burton 
Getting a PhD in Law Caroline Morris, Cian C Murphy 
YouTube – Jack Duffley

PhD Law Admission Process 

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

Direct Admission

  • For direct admission, you must get the admission form from the college or university. You can get it both offline and online.
  • To get the application form you can go to 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 out the application form you must go to the college for counselling and also attend the round of personal interviews.

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, and 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. 

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 for the LSAT exam with a good score. 
  • Research Proposal (Around 1000 words): Describing the scope of the project along with undertaken dissertation. 
  • If you’re applying to foreign universities, you need to give English Language Proficiency Tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • It is recommended for the candidates have a well-designed Curriculum Vitae.

Application Process 

This is another important aspect you need to keep in mind if you’re planning to become a lawyer. But the application process might get overwhelming. This is where the professional from Leverage Edu will help you. It’s important to complete the application process without any mistakes. Here are crucial things to consider:

  1. Call us and we will help you shortlist your favourite law universities. But you need to submit your application to multiple universities to broaden your chances of getting selected. 
  2. Compile all essential documents. Don’t make mistakes while submitting the documents. 
  3. Submit the application before the deadlines and start the application process for accommodation, students visa, and scholarships/student loans.
  4. Accept the offer letter

Required Documents 

The documentation process is one of the most essential steps you should consider. But making some common mistakes will jeopardize your application. The documents you need to submit are::

  • Educational certificates. As you’re going for a law degree, you need to provide your other mark sheets such as the 12th mark sheet, UG mark sheet, etc.  
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Letter of intent 
  • Financial documents 
  • Statement of purpose 
  • Passport
  • Visa

Career Prospects and Salary

After completing your PhD in law from a reputed university, you will be able to boost your chances of getting hired by top companies. Employers will take a look at your university name as it will have a huge impact on your employability. Therefore, make sure you complete your PhD degree from a reputed university to stand apart from the crowd. Here are the jobs you can get after completing your PhD in law:

  • Law Professor
  • Political Advisor
  • Project Manager
  • Researcher
  • Compliance Manager
  • Consultant


The salary of a lawyer who holds a PhD degree will vary from one designation to another as well as the country. Here’s a table:

CountryAvg Salary/Year
USAUSD 171,000 (INR 1.4 Crore)
UKGBP 105,000 (INR 1 Crore)
CanadaCAD 107,000 (INR 65 Lakhs)
AustraliaAUD 105,000 (INR 58 Lakhs)

Also Read: Law Entrance Exams India & Abroad    


What is the duration of a PhD program in law?
The PhD program in law is of 3 years.

Which lawyers receive the highest salary?
Trial lawyers receive the highest salary.

Which field of law is most effective?

Taw law and corporate law are the most effective.

If you want to get into a high-ranked university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realise your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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