Studying at a law school in Africa or the Middle East could be one of the most amazing experiences in your life. Your education in a foreign legal system, and your extended contact with the people of the country where you study, put you in an excellent position to work in international business, consult on international legal matters, and work in a diplomatic function or with international nonprofit agencies.
To get started, you'll need to decide which of a number of reputable law schools is the right place for you to study. This article provides an overview of your law school options in Africa and the Middle East.
Law Schools in the Middle East
Israel -- Israel has a burgeoning tech industry and is the epicenter of debate relating to human rights and East/West relations. Israel's people have a long tradition of respect for study and education and draw some of the most prominent teachers and speakers in the world. Key universities include:
- Tel Aviv University Law Faculty -- Israel's first law school is located in Tel Aviv, the country's most active and modern city. Tel Aviv University offers top-notch education and access to the city's famous nightlife.
- University of Haifa Faculty of Law -- The University of Haifa is the most diverse institution of higher education in Israel, with a student population made up of a vibrant mix of Jews, Arabs, Druze, and a variety of immigrant populations. At Haifa University, the conflicts that cause bloodshed elsewhere are the subject of respectful debate, providing a unique perspective on the region's problems.
United Arab Emirates -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) possesses massive oil and natural gas reserves, which have financed fantastic cities, bustling business sectors, and well-financed health and education services. Prominent universities include:
- United Arab Emirates University College of Law -- The oldest university in the UAE, alumni have gone on to be ministers, diplomats, senior government officials, and business leaders. The school is consistently ranked as the best in the UAE and one of the top Arab institutions of higher education.
- University of Dubai -- Dubai is a city of marvels. Known the world over for its fanciful architecture and extravagant style, studying at the University of Dubai puts you in the center of a critical financial and cultural hub.
Saudi Arabia & Qatar -- Elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and Qatar, the economic powerhouse that is home to the Al Jazeera Media Network, stand as the religious and secular leaders of the region. Both countries wield a significant amount of influence on their neighbors and, by extension, the rest of the world. Their top universities include:
- Qatar University College of Law -- Qatar has the highest per-capita income in the world and the state-owned Al Jazeera Media Network is evidence of the small country's influence on the region and around the world. The Qatar University College of Law shares the country's influence and has connections and respect that stretch around the globe.
- King Abdulaziz University Faculty of Law -- King Abdulaziz University (KAU) has frequently been cited as the top university in the Arab world. Its alumni have included some of the richest and most powerful figures in Arab society and the university is held in high regard throughout the region.
Law Schools in Africa
Africa's cultures are as colorful and diverse as the patterned cloth worn by many native peoples. The continent is also host to hundreds of institutions of higher education, many of which are highly regarded regionally and internationally. The following is just a small selection of prominent African law schools:
- Cairo University Faculty of Law -- Where Cairo leads, the world follows. Since the beginning of recorded history, the city has stood as the center of civilization and remains a city of incredible geopolitical significance. Cairo University is located in Giza, across the Nile from Cairo proper. Who wouldn't want to study law in the shadow of the Sphinx?
- Kenya School of Law -- The Kenya School of Law (KSL) is the only bar school in Kenya, a country known for its natural beauty and for being the birthplace of former President Obama's father. One interesting perk for sports lovers; KSL sponsors its own football club, the Thola Glass.
- Chiekh Anta Diop University -- Senegal's Chiekh Anta Diop University hosts students from all over French West Africa. Its alumni fill the political offices of Senegal and abroad and the school is widely regarded as among the best in the region.
- University of Ibadan -- Nigeria was once the seat of power for a massive empire and the University of Ibadan, the oldest Nigerian university, maintains the country's pride as a regional leader. The school is regularly cited among top 10 lists for African universities.
- University of Dar es Salaam -- The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has educated many presidents and prime ministers of countries throughout the region, as well as leaders within the Pan-African Parliament, the United Nations, banks, and other prominent institutions.
- StellenBosch University -- Students and professors take enormous pride in StellenBosch University. They have good reason; alumni have included multiple prime ministers, lawyers, and political leaders.
Continuing Your Legal Journey
Deciding where to study law is just the first decision, the first fork in the road. Let us help you chart the rest of your journey through law school and beyond. Visit FindLaw's Law Students section for more helpful articles covering law school admission, the bar exam, and finding a career.