5 Best Law Schools in Italy

Italy is famous for having one of the oldest universities in the world as early as the 11th century, providing thousands of years of expertise in education in different fields of study. International students are most welcome, as most universities recognize the importance of diversity and cultural awareness with their English-medium programs at a more affordable fee compared to most Western universities. The legal system in Italy takes after the criminal, civil and administrative law. Obtaining a law degree in Italy is similar to most European countries. A student must complete the first cycle, which is also called the Bachelor’s degree (LL.B.), followed by the second cycle, Master’s degree (LL.M.), and lastly a Ph.D. Here are some of the best law schools in Italy.

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Top Law Schools in Italy

1. University of Bologna

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees offered: LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D.
  • Language of Instruction: Italian (LL.B.), Italian or English (LL.M., Ph.D.)

The University of Bologna is the best law school in Italy. It is also known as the oldest university in the West, having existed since the 11th century in 1088. The university is a key player in producing many great and famous people in science and literature such as Thomas Becket and Nicolaus Copernicus. Today, there are 32 departments and five schools handled by 2,771 lecturers. Their five campuses are situated in Bologna, Cesena, Ravenna, Rimini, and Forlì with 87,758 students studying across the campuses. They produce 18,000 graduates every year.

The law school offers a 1st and 2nd cycle, also known as a bachelor’s and master’s program. The duration of the 1st cycle is for three years, which is then followed by a master’s degree for two years and 120 ECTS. Students have the option to study a single or double degree, a combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After completing LL.B. and LL.M., students take a Ph.D. course for three years, where only a handful of applicants are chosen to participate.

2. The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees offered: LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D.
  • Language of Instruction: Italian

Founded in 1785 by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies is another top law school in Italy. There are six institutes: The Biorobotics Institute, The Institute of Law, Politics and Development, The Institute of Economics, The Institute of Management, The Institute of Life Sciences, and The Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies. The university is home to alumni who became prime ministers of Italy, neuroscientists, and journalists.

The College of Law offers a Master’s Degree in Law (single cycle) with the opportunity to have a student exchange program with well-known universities worldwide, attend special conferences and lectures, and take part in internships with reputable companies across the globe. As for their Ph.D. in Law, the duration is for three years, focusing on private law, European law, constitutional law, law and criminal justice, and general theory of law. If there are financial difficulties, the program provides a scholarship to five students worth around USD 18,159 gross per year for each student.

3. Sapienza University of Rome

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees offered: LL.M., Ph.D.
  • Language of Instruction: Italian

A long-standing institution with more than 700 years of contribution to research, science and education, Sapienza University of Rome is considered to be the first university in Europe, currently holding 113,500 students, almost 9,000 international students, and 3,300 professors. There is a wide range of courses with over 280 degree programs, 200 vocational master programs, and about 80 Ph.D. programs. A university for all, they provide scholarships, free tuition fees for outstanding applicants, and a special brother-sister discount for siblings enrolled in the university.

Their Master’s Degree in Law Single Cycle is for five years which consists of essential training for a jurist such as public and private law, international law, community law, comparative law, and European law. There are three Ph.D. programs: Public Law; Public, Comparative and International Law; and Roman Law, Theory of Legal Systems and Private Law of Markets. Only a handful are chosen to participate, around 13 students per course.

4. University of Milan

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees offered: LL.M., Ph.D
  • Language of Instruction: Italian, English

Next on our list of best law schools in Italy is the University of Milan, which was established in 1924 by Luigi Mangiagalli, a doctor and gynecologist. The first four faculties created were humanities, law, physical and natural sciences, and medicine and mathematics. Today, the university has 11 faculties and schools, 33 departments. Their Faculty of Law takes pride in their years of experience in the field, with training and internships in courts, law firms, law organizations, and affiliated associations. With its openness to international awareness, the law school also offers various English-medium.

The Master’s Degree Program in Law is a five-year, single-cycle course that centers on national and international aspects of the law. It is a 300-ECTS course, providing specialized training in becoming a legal professional. Students will be able to hold a double degree title upon completing the course. The Postgraduate School of Legal Professions offers a course for two years, and Italian as the medium of instruction. To be able to join the program, students must pass a contentious public examination.

5. University of Padua

  • Law School Link
  • Degrees offered: LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D.
  • Language of Instruction: Italian, English (some units only for Ph.D.)

A university founded by students in 1222, The University of Padua remains today as one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe, creating prominent alumni such as Giuseppe Colombo, Diego Valeri and Luigi Stefanini. As a top law school in Italy, a degree from the University of Padua gives an advantage to students for it is recognized by prospective employers. The Law School offers training and internship in companies, public organizations, or law firms in Italy or abroad.

The Law School offers a single-cycle degree completed in five years, either in Treviso Campus or Padova Campus. Students will tackle public and private law and obtain extensive knowledge on administrative law, civil law, criminal law, and international and European laws, with the chance to expand their skills in their study-abroad programs. Their Ph.D. degree is a blend of European and International aspects of law. Their two programs are Ph.D. in International, Private and Labour Law and Ph.D. in Law, both of which are taught in Italian with some subjects in English.


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