National Law Universities (NLU) or National Law Schools are public law schools and the most desired law schools in India. NLUs in India has been established by the Acts of the State governments. NLUs in India are single-discipline universities. They offer integrated honours and law degree programmes.
Law colleges established under NLU fall under the supervision of the Chief Justice of the High Court of the State in question. NLUs were created on the pattern of IIMs and IITs. NLUs have changed the face of legal education in India. In fact, India is the only country in the world which has universities for legal discipline alone. Today, we have 23 NLUs affiliated with the Bar Council of India (BCI) in India, out of which 22 are admitting students through the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) (National Law University, Delhi has its own separate test, i.e, AILET). From 1987 to 2007, there were only seven NLUs each having its own test.
In 2015, the seeds of the CLAT Consortium were sown and participating NLUs deliberated to found the Consortium in the larger interest of conducting the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), a national entrance examination for admission under various law programs in the NLUs. The Consortium became the legal entity when it was registered in Bangalore under the Karnataka Co-operative Society Act, of 2019 in which 16 NLUs signed and became the founding members of the Consortium. The remaining NLUs (except National Law University, Delhi) subsequently joined the Consortium. It has three permanent members, i.e., National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad, and National Law Institute (NLIU), Bhopal.
Below is a list of all the national law schools in India:
1. National Law School of India University, Bengaluru
The first NLU was the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), located in Bangalore, which admitted its first batch in 1988. It has consistently been ranked as the best institute for law in India. At present, NLSIU Bangalore offers BA LLB at the UG level while at the PG level it offers programmes such as LLM, MPP, MBL and PG Diploma.
2. NLIU, Bhopal
National Law Institute University Bhopal (NLIU Bhopal) is a public law school and a National Law University in the Indian city of Bhopal. It is the second law school created under the National Law School system, having been founded in 1997 by the state of Madhya Pradesh.
3. NALSAR, Hyderabad
NALSAR University of Law, officially known as the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, is a National Law University in Secunderabad, Hyderabad. An Act of the Andhra Pradesh State Legislature founded the University in 1998. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has accredited it with an "A" rating. The University provides full-time UG, PG, doctoral, and diploma programmes in law and management.
4. NUJS, Kolkata
The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS or NUJS) is an excellent National Law University located in Bidhannagar, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is also known as the Columbia of the East. NUJS was founded in 1999 by the Bar Council of India (BCI) in collaboration with the West Bengal government.
5. NLU, Jodhpur
National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ) is a National Law University created by the Rajasthan State Legislature under the National Law University, Jodhpur, Act, 1999. The university's first UG and PG batch was accepted in 2001, with the Undergraduate batch graduating in 2006 and the university's first convocation taking place in 2007.
6. HNLU, Raipur
Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), founded in 2003, is a public law school and a National Law University in the Indian city of New Raipur. The university is named after Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah, a former Chief Justice of India. It is one of India's independent law schools, the sixth in a sequence of such national law schools. The Government of Chhattisgarh created it as a centre for legal excellence under the Hidayatullah National University of Law, Chhattisgarh, Act (Act No.10 of 2003). The institution provides an integrated B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) programme, an L.L.M. programme, and a PhD programme.
7. GNLU, Gandhinagar
The Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) is a National Law University founded in the state of Gujarat under the Gujarat National Law University Act, 2003. The University is modelled after the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore. The GNLU was the country's sixth National Law University (NLU).
8. NUALS, Kochi
The National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) is an Indian National Law University and a public law school in Kochi. It is Kerala's first and only National Law University, as well as one of India's 23 NLUs. The Common Law Admission Test is used to determine admission to the university. The National University of Advanced Legal Studies was founded by the National University of Advanced Legal Studies Act, 2005, which was enacted by the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 2005.
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (RMLNLU) is a public law school and a National Law University in the Indian city of Lucknow. It was founded in 2005 as the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law Institute and officially opened on January 4, 2006.
10. RGNUL, Patiala
RGNUL (Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law) is a public law school and a National Law University in Patiala, Punjab, India. The Punjab Government created it in 2006 (Punjab Act No. 12 of 2006) as a university specialising in legal education.
11. CNLU, Patna
Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) is a public law school and a National Law University in Patna, Bihar, India. The Government of Bihar established it as a public university dedicated to legal education in 2006 (Bihar Act 24 of 2006). The university's chancellor is the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court. It is one of India's self-governing law schools. The campus is around 18 acres in size and is located in the heart of the city in the Mithapur region.
12. National Law University, Delhi
It was founded in 2008 by Act No. 1 of 2008 of NCT Delhi in the National Capital Territory of Delhi at the urging of the Delhi High Court. The institution began operations in temporary structures in 2008. By 2010, the college's construction had been finished and it was fully operational. It is now recognised as India's second-best NLU. It conducts its own law entrance examinations through AILET.
13.NLU Odisha, Cuttack
National Law University Odisha (NLUO) is a public law school and a National Law University in India located at Cuttack, Odisha. It was established in 2008 (Act 4 of 2008) under the National Law University Act, commencing its first batch in July 2009. The institute offers undergraduate (integrated B.A., LL.B., BBA/LL.M, M.Phil., PhD) and post-graduate courses in law.
14. DSNLU, Visakhapatnam
The DSNLU Act of 2008 established the Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU) at Sabbavaram, Anakapalli district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It provides a five-year integrated B.A. LLB. (Hons.) education to qualified undergraduate students through a centralised admission process based on the Common Law Admission Test. The University also provides postgraduate courses, including the one-year LL.M. programme, as well as PhD and LL.D. programmes. In the first phase, the university is situated in Nyayaprastha in Sabbavaram, with a built-up area of 75.5 acres. The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly's founding Act of 2008 (Act No. 32 of 2008) allowed for the main campus at Visakhapatnam.
15. NLU Assam, Guwahati
National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJA or NLUJAA) is a National Law University located in Guwahati, Assam, India. It was established in 2009 through an Act passed by the State Legislature of Assam (Assam Act XXV of 2009) as a public university dedicated to the field of legal education and the first batch was started in 2011.
16. NUSRL, Ranchi
The National University of Study and Research in Law (NUSRL) is a law school in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India. In 2010, the State of Jharkhand created the fourteenth National Law University of India by legislative legislation (Act No. 4 of 2010). The 63.76-acre campus is one of India's major National Law Universities. It is also regarded as the tenth finest institution among NLUs in India.
17. TNNLU, Trichy
Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU), formerly known as Tamil Nadu National Law School (TNNLS), is a National Law University in Tamil Nadu, India. The Common Law Admission Test is used to determine admission to the university. The Tamil Nadu Government created it in 2012 by the Tamil Nadu National Law School Act, 2012, with an initial donation of 100 crores (equivalent to 160 crores or US$20 million in 2020). The Act was changed in 2018 to replace the phrase "School" with the word "University."
18. Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Law University, Sonipat
Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Law University (DBRANLU) is a National Law University in Sonipat, Haryana, India. It is the 23rd National Law University in India, founded in 2012 by the State Government of Haryana by State Legislature Act No. 15 of 2012. The university's name was changed from 'The National Law University Haryana' to 'Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Law University Sonepat' in 2014, in honour of B. R. Ambedkar, social reformer and author of the Indian Constitution.
19. MNLU, Mumbai
The Maharashtra National Legal University Mumbai (MNLU Mumbai) is a National Law University in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, and is one of the country's most distinguished law schools. On March 20, 2014, the Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai was formed under the Maharashtra National Law University Act 2014. MNLU Mumbai provides a five-year integrated B.A. LL.B.(Hons.) curriculum as well as LL.M. programmes. Students must pass the CLAT in order to be admitted to a UG or PG programme.
20. MNLU, Nagpur
Maharashtra National Law University Nagpur (MNLU) (also known as National Law University, Nagpur or NLU Nagpur) founded in the year 2016, is a public law school created by the government under the Maharashtra National Law University Act (Maharashtra Act No. VI of 2014). The university is India's 19th National Law University and is located in Nagpur, Maharashtra's Orange City. The institution is led by the Chief Justice of India.
21. HPNLU, Shimla
Himachal Pradesh National Law University Shimla (HPNLU Shimla) is a National Law University in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. It is India's twenty-first National Law University. The Himachal Pradesh High Court governs NLU Shimla. The Himachal Pradesh National Law University (HPNLU, Shimla) was created by an Act of the Legislature passed by the State Legislature in 2016. (Act 16 of 2016). The University began operations on October 5, 2016. The original batch of B.A.LL. B.
22. MNLU, Aurangabad
MNLU Aurangabad (MNLU Aurangabad, MNLUA) is a National Law University located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It was established in 2017 by the Maharashtra government as the third and final university to be established under the Maharashtra National Law University Act, 2014, following the Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai and the Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. It is India's 21st National Law University.
23. NLU, Jabalpur
Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur is an Indian National Law University in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The Madhya Pradesh Dharmashastra National Law University Ordinance of 2018 created it. As of 2021, the university's chancellor is the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.