Are courts more likely to suppress civil liberties in times of war? Does a judge's gender influence his or her decisions? Do independent judiciaries promote economic freedom? Answering such questions calls for empirical evidence, and arguments based on empirical research have become an everyday part of legal practice, scholarship, and teaching. In litigation judges are confronted with empirical evidence in cases ranging from bankruptcy and taxation to criminal law and environmental infringement. In academia researchers are increasingly turning to sophisticated empirical methods to assess and challenge fundamental assumptions about the law.
As the role of empirical methods in traditional legal scholarship and practice grows, new forms of education are needed for today's lawyers. All lawyers asked to present or assess empirical arguments need to understand the fundamental principles of social science methodology that underpin sound empirical research. This book presents that methodology in a legal context, explaining how empirical analysis can inform legal arguments; how lawyers can set about framing empirical questions, conducting empirical research, analyzing data, and presenting or evaluating the results. The fundamentals of understanding data, statistical models, and the structure of empirical arguments are explained in a way accessible to lawyers with or without formal training in statistics.
Written by two of the world's leading experts in empirical legal analysis, drawing on years of experience in training lawyers and academics in empirical methods, this book will be an invaluable primer for all students, academics, or practicing lawyers coming to empirical research— whether they are embarking on an empirical research project, or engaging with empirical arguments in their field of study, research, or practice.
The book is available from the following merchants:
Oxford University Press
Barnes & Noble
Lee Epstein is the Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Andrew D. Martin is Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. For 13 years, they have taught "Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship"—an annual workshop for law school professors, political science faculty, and graduate students interested in learning about empirical research and how to evaluate empirical work.
The 15th annual workshop on Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship, co-taught by Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin, will run from June 15-June 17 at Washington University in St. Louis. The workshop is for law school faculty, lawyers, political science faculty, and graduate students interested in learning about empirical research and how to evaluate empirical work. It provides the formal training necessary to design, conduct, and assess empirical studies, and to use statistical software (Stata) to analyze and manage data.
Participants need no background or knowledge of statistics to enroll in the workshop. Registration is here. For more information, please contact Lee Epstein.