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NIRF’s 2020 best law school rankings out of 97: Top 3 same, NLUJ overtakes NUJS, GNLU climbs, NLIU drops 6 [Compare all metrics]

The full National Institutional Ranking Framework are out and are substantially unchanged from last year - with NLSIU Bangalore, NLU Delhi and Nalsar Hyderabad taking the top three spots; howveer, NLU Jodhpur has overtaken NUJS Kolkata, and GNLU Gandhinagar has jumped ahead of SLS Pune and Jamia Milia Islamia, in this government-sponsored and -approved ranking that saw a total of 97 law colleges participating (see full list and ranking table below).

Movers and shakers

Amongst the top ranks, only NLSIU Bangalore, IIT Kharagpur, NLU Jodhpur, GNLU Gandhinagar and RMLNLU Lucknow managed to improve their total scores slightly as against last year (see below).

NLIU Bhopal saw one of the steepest declines, however, losing nearly 4 points in a year.

RMLNLU, while improving its score by just over 1 point, climbed from 14 to 11th.

New in the rankings this year - which extended to 20 rather than just 15 as last year - were Aligarh Muslim University, NLU Cuttack, Odisha Panjab University Chandigarh, NLUJA Assam and Christ University, which made its debut at 20th in the rankings.

Last year’s 15th-ranked, BR Ambedkar College of Law, dropped out of this year’s top 20.

How did they move and shake?

For a full look at the methodology and number-crunching involved, please see a PDF of the law category.

And diving into the maths may be required, since a cursory look at the numbers scored in each category can often raise more questions than it answers.

Graduation outcomes

Looking at the data and year-on-year changes a little more closely, it appears that most law schools improved on their “graduation outcome” (GO) metric.

Nine law schools improved their self-reported “graduation outcome” scores, while the scores of five in that category decreased as against 2019.

Historically this category has been notoriously easy to fudge since NIRF has not really seemed to inquire too closely into that data.

A case in point, Nalsar Hyderabad, which in the 2018 NIRF submissions had somewhat (perhaps accidentally) overstated its median salary as being Rs 18 lakh.

However, this year, its graduation outcomes score dropped from 83.37 in 2019 to 77.73, despite submitting nearly identical data to last year (see below).

Nalsar NIRF 2020 submissions for jobs
Nalsar NIRF 2020 submissions for jobs

Nalsar NIRF 2019 submissions on jobs
Nalsar NIRF 2019 submissions on jobs

It’s likely what has happened is that a lot of other submissions may have revised (or massaged) their jobs / GO figures upwards, resulting in a lower relative score for Nalsar, though some further analysis may be required there.

Others to have dropped in the GO category are: SLS Pune, RGNUL Patiala, RMLNLU Lucknow and NLIU Bhopal.


NLSIU yet again scored maximum perception marks of 100, no doubt benefiting from its status as India’s first national law school.

The nearest rivals in perception is Nalsar, which scored around 71, while NLU Delhi plummeted 10 perception points from last year’s 75 to 65 this year.

Keeping up your perceptions is clearly a fickle pursuit in the NIRF game.

Fourth-ranked outside-entry IIT Kharagpur lost ground in perception from 47 to 39 (though its engineering course is ranked fifth in that category, with a perception score of 89.3.

So what goes into perception? According to NIRF:

A. Peer Perception: Employers & Academic Peer (PR): 100 marks

  • This is to be done through a survey conducted over a large category of Employers, Professionals from Reputed Organizations and a large category of academics to ascertain their preference for graduates of different institutions.
  • Comprehensive list will be prepared taking into account various sectors, regions, etc.
  • Lists to be updated periodically.

The table of 2020 best NIRF law schools

Fuller scores tabulated below for easy comparison (total and individual scores that have vis-a-vis last year, marked below).





Law school Score 2019


Download Submission (pdf) Teaching, Learning & Resources (TLR) Research & Professional Practice (RPC) Graduation Outcomes (GO) Outreach & Inclusivity (OI) Perception TLR ‘19 RPC ‘19 GO ‘19 OI ‘19 Perc ‘19
1 1 NLSIU Bangalore 78.66🔼 77.21 (pdf) 84.3 ⬇️ 41.07 🔼 85.13 🔼 75.03 ⬇️ 100 = 85.16 38.77 78.96 76.02 100
2 2 NLU Delhi 74.02⬇️ 76.23 (pdf) 90.73 ⬇️ 45.21 ⬇️ 67.77 🔼 74.67 🔼 65.36 ⬇️ 92.3 52.69 66.34 73.12 75.2
3 3 Nalsar Hyderabad 73.12⬇️ 74.61 (pdf) 83.28 ⬇️ 39.74 🔼 77.73 ⬇️ 73.22 🔼 70.96 🔼 84.3 38.49 83.37 72.57 70.2
4 4 IIT Kharagpur 71.44🔼 69.81 (pdf) 81 🔼 73.78 🔼 69.16 🔼 67.68 🔼 39.07 ⬇️ 78.37 73.22 65.42 64.6 46.57
5 6 NLU Jodhpur 64.29🔼 63.94 (pdf) 74.48 🔼 26.85 ⬇️ 78.05 🔼 65.16 ⬇️ 44.35 🔼 71.62 34.27 77.92 66.17 40.55
6 5 NUJS Kolkata 63.32⬇️ 65.39 (pdf) 70.52 ⬇️ 35.19 ⬇️ 68.59 🔼 69.75 🔼 57.09 ⬇️ 73.61 35.25 68.16 69.34 66.89
7 9 GNLU Gandhinagar 60.78🔼 58.64 (pdf) 69.67 ⬇️ 35.83 🔼 68.56 🔼 67.92 ⬇️ 36.15 🔼 69.79 22.62 66.9 70.2 35.98
8 7 SLS Pune 59.54⬇️ 60.68 (pdf) 72 🔼 16.72 ⬇️ 67.48 ⬇️ 77.47 🔼 36.15 ⬇️ 61.86 17.19 81.93 76.91 51.84
9 8 Jamia Millia Islamia 57.93⬇️ 59.49 (pdf) 59.24 ⬇️ 35 ⬇️ 72.2 🔼 76.31 🔼 33.01 ⬇️ 62.15 51.04 64.4 72.66 35.98
10 10 RGNUL Patiala 54.19⬇️ 55.53 (pdf) 62.14 ⬇️ 29.23 🔼 59.13 ⬇️ 72.22 🔼 29.62 ⬇️ 63.31 29.01 60.35 71.75 35.98
11 14 RMLNLU Lucknow 53.57🔼 52.39 (pdf) 62.79 ⬇️ 2.46 🔼 78.65 ⬇️ 48.12 ⬇️ 36.15 🔼 65.54 0 79.41 48.8 14.36
12 12 KIIT Bhubaneswar 52.83⬇️ 52.96 (pdf) 76.11 ⬇️ 27.06 🔼 39.66 🔼 71.84 🔼 12.36 ⬇️ 77.73 23.83 35.46 63.42 30.86

Aligarh Muslim University 52.28🆕 (new) (pdf) 46.95 26.48 91.05 34.7 33.01


NLU Cuttack, Odisha 51.94🆕 (new) (pdf) 63.82 22.69 49.13 60.51 46.76


Panjab University Chandigarh 51.11🆕 (new) (pdf) 54.42 29.6 60.5 71.8 25.93


NLUJA Assam 49.9🆕 (new) (pdf) 70.55 22.57 37.44 67.42 21.88

17 11 NLIU Bhopal 49.6⬇️ 53.41 (pdf) 54.39 ⬇️ 24.98 🔼 58.53 ⬇️ 55.54 ⬇️ 39.07 ⬇️ 58.83 24.95 61.67 56.95 50.15
18 13 Indian Law Institute Delhi 49.44⬇️ 52.42 (pdf) 52.36 ⬇️ 15.06 ⬇️ 57.02 🔼 59.29 🔼 60.6 ⬇️ 63.74 19.87 49.86 49.25 65.73

BHU Varanasi 49.17🆕 (new) (pdf) 50.08 24.79 70.81 35.39 41.79


Christ University, Bangalore 48.01🆕 (new) (pdf) 50.51 18.36 54.32 65.82 49.04

More than 97 law schools participated this time

In 2018, that number was only 71, so at least NIRF is expanding its sample size (despite some obvious hold-outs), see below.

The participating law colleges this year were:

  • Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh Uttar Pradesh
  • All Saints Christain Law College Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh
  • Allahabad Degree College Allahabad Uttar Pradesh
  • Alliance University Bengaluru Karnataka
  • Amity University Noida Gautam Budh Nagar Uttar Pradesh
  • Army Institute of Law Mohali Punjab
  • Assam University Silchar Assam
  • Banaras Hindu University Varanasi Uttar Pradesh
  • Bankura University Bankura West Bengal
  • C. U. Shah University Wadhwan City Gujarat
  • Career Law College Bhopal Madhya Pradesh
  • Career Point University Hamirpur Himachal Pradesh
  • Central University of Haryana Mahendergarh Haryana
  • Chankaya National Law University Patna Bihar
  • Choudhary Charan Singh University Meerut Uttar Pradesh
  • Christ University Bengaluru Karnataka
  • Cochin University of Science and Technology Cochin Kerala
  • Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh
  • Desh Bhagat University Gobindgarh Punjab
  • Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya Indore Madhya Pradesh
  • Devi Sharvani Education Society`s V.M. Salgaocar College of Law Miramar North Goa Goa
  • Dr. Ambedkar College, Deekshabhoomi Nagpur Maharashtra
  • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar College of Law Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Government Law College Puducherry Pondicherry
  • Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Law College , Morshi Road . Amravati Maharashtra
  • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University Lucknow Uttar Pradesh
  • G. D. Goenka University Gurgaon Haryana
  • Galgotias University Gautam Budh Nagar Uttar Pradesh
  • Glocal University Saharanpur Uttar Pradesh
  • Gujarat National Law University Gandhinagar Gujarat
  • Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya Bilaspur Chhattisgarh
  • Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University New Delhi Delhi
  • Haldia Law College Haldia West Bengal
  • Himachal Pradesh University Shimla Himachal Pradesh
  • I.M.S. LAW COLLEGE A-8B, SECTOR-62, INSTITUTIONAL ARYA ,NOIDA Ph. No :- 241050-51-43 Gautam Budh Nagar Uttar Pradesh
  • ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education Hyderabad Telangana
  • IMS UNISON UNIVERSITY Dehradun Uttarakhand
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur Kharagpur West Bengal
  • Indian Law Institute New Delhi Delhi
  • Institute of Chatertered Financial Analysts of India, Dehradun Dehradun Uttarakhand
  • J. S. S. Law College Mysuru Karnataka
  • Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi Delhi
  • Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Bhubaneswar Odisha
  • Kumaun University, Nainital Nainital Uttarakhand
  • Law college, Akola Akola Maharashtra
  • M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore Bangalore Karnataka
  • Maharshi Dayanand University Rohtak Haryana
  • Marathwada Legal’s & General Education Society’s, Manikchand Pahade Law College, Samarthnagar Road. Aurangabad Maharashtra
  • Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s Shankarrao Chavan Law College, Pune 4 Pune Maharashtra
  • Mody Institute of Technology & Science, Sikar Sikar, Rajasthan Rajasthan
  • Mohan Lal Sukhadia University Udaipur Rajasthan
  • N. E. F. Law College Kamrup Assam
  • Nalsar University of Law Hyderabad Telangana
  • National Law Institute University, Bhopal Bhopal Madhya Pradesh
  • National Law School of India University Bengaluru Karnataka
  • National Law University Cuttack Odisha
  • National Law University Jodhpur Rajasthan
  • National Law University New Delhi Delhi
  • National Law University and Judicial Academy Kamrup Assam
  • Nehru Gram Bharati Allahabad Uttar Pradesh
  • New Law College Ahmednagar Maharashtra
  • Nirma University Ahmedabad Gujarat
  • Panjab University Chandigarh Chandigarh
  • Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science & Technology Thanjavur Tamil Nadu
  • Rabindranath Tagore University Raisen Madhya Pradesh
  • RAYAT BAHRA UNIVERSITY Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar Punjab
  • Reva University Bengaluru Karnataka
  • RNB Global University Bikaner Rajasthan
  • S. D. M. Law College Mangaluru Karnataka
  • S. S. M. Law College Jalgaon Maharashtra
  • Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences Chennai Tamil Nadu
  • Seth Chunilal Amarchand Bohra Law College, Raichur RAICHUR Karnataka
  • Shivaji Law College Parbhani Maharashtra
  • Shobhit-University Meerut Uttar Pradesh
  • Shri Swami Vivekanand Shikshan Sanstha’s, Law College. Osmanabad Maharashtra
  • Sikkim Government Law College Gangtok Sikkim
  • Smt. Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s Univeristy Mumbai Maharashtra
  • Sri Shirdi Sai Law College Anakapalli Andhra Pradesh
  • SRM University Sonepat Haryana
  • St. Andrews P.G. College, Gorakhpur GORAKHPUR Uttar Pradesh
  • Symbiosis Law School Pune Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University Chennai Tamil Nadu
  • Teerthanker Mahaveer University Moradabad Uttar Pradesh
  • The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India University Agartala Tripura
  • The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala Punjab
  • The Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University Nagpur Maharashtra
  • The West Bengal National University of Juridicial Sciences Kolkata West Bengal
  • University of Jammu Jammu Jammu and Kashmir
  • University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Dehradun Uttarakhand
  • Uttaranchal University Dehradun Uttarakhand
  • Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Surat Gujarat
  • Vidya Vikas Mandals Govind Ramnath Kare College of Law Margao South Goa Goa
  • Vidyavardhaka Law College, Mysore Mysore Karnataka

11 June 2020: It's NIRF Liveblog time

11:48: It’s nearly NIRF-o-clock (see below) and we’ll be live blogging the online release of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings.

Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the HRD minister, has been promised to live tweet the announcements on his Twitter account.

11:56: Last year, the top three schools in the law category had been taken up, neck-to-neck, by NLSIU Bangalore, NLU Delhi and Nalsar Hyderabad.

IIT Kharagpur, despite having had a relatively low profile in the legal profession at least as far as we’re aware, has always performed well in the NIRF, coming fourth last year, followed by, in order: NUJS Kolkata, NLU Jodhpur and SLS Pune, Jamia Milia Islamia, GNLU Gandhinagar, RGNUL Patiala, NLIU Bhopal, Kalinga Institue of Industrial Technology, Indian Law Institute (ILI), RMLNLU Lucknow and BR Ambedkar College of Law.

JGLS Sonepat and its parent Jindal Global University (JGU) has been staying out of the NIRF process to date.

12:06: The main reason NIRF is fairly exciting, as far as law school rankings go, is that after years of opaque, mostly awful and often apparently semi-paid-for magazine law school rankings, at least the NIRF has some element of transparency in its methodology and submissions process. And not having a profit motive to justify its existence also helps.

12:09: The webcast has just gone live here. Just as in millions of Zoom-esque calls before them, ministers and NIRFers hang around awkwardly waiting for everyone to dial in, making small talk and greeting each new joinee. Awkward...

NIRF ceremony this year starts with lots of usual conference call smalltalk
NIRF ceremony this year starts with lots of usual conference call smalltalk

12:13: Ok, the main proceedings appear to have started now. Virtual vote of thanks and obligatory roll call of all attendees.

12:21: Surprise, it’s official: it’s impossible to replicate the pomp and circumstance of a physical ceremony online. But on the plus side, VCs can attend in their pyjamas.

12:30: Hindi is apparently the lingua franca of this year’s ceremony. Fortunately for non-Hindi-native-speakers, you don’t seem to be missing much right now beyond general sentiments about the value of education (this would be the time in a physical ceremony that attendees would start furtively checking their phones and social media feeds).

12:37: Yes, sorry, more speeches (at least the fourth to hold forth, so far).

12:47: The fifth speaker now... We predict at least another 20 minutes of this but will let you know once the rankings begin.

12:59: This must be the final speech now by Pokhriyal himself.

13:06: Our estimate of 20 minutes may have been optimistic. Apologies. We should have realised all bets are off when a minister gets the mic in a webinar (much like managing partners).

13:09: The NIC is using Periscope (remember Periscope?) to live stream this shindig to Twitter. The live video and comments feed over there is full of students calling for cancellation of entrance exams (as well as of the speeches continuing).

Periscope comments
Periscope comments

13:36: No change at the top of the law rankings: NLSIU Bangalore, then NLU Delhi, then Nalsar Hyderabad. But let’s wait for the scores and the full rankings.

13:44: Apologies for the delayed update above: we had indeed missed the announcement initially and taken a break from the stream for five minutes, as a commenter had noticed...

14:04: The full law ranking is now out (see picture).

The law ranking is out
The law ranking is out

10 June 2020

NIRF day tomorrow
NIRF day tomorrow

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings of universities including law schools, which had been postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19, which is an initiative of the human resources ministry (MHRD), will be released tomorrow, according to the official NIRF website.

As we had reported in April, the ceremony had been postponed due to the pandemic.

However, the ceremony will now be an online one. Shame for all the VCs and dignitaries who won’t get to shake hands with other dignitaries, but good news that the data will out.

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