Empirical Legal Scholarship
(Sources primarily from the Bibliography for Empirical Research in the Law Workshop (Aug. 28, 2007),
by Valerie A. Weis, Faculty Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh School of Law)


Ross E. Cheit, The Elusive Record: On Researching High-Profile 1980s Sexual Abuse Cases, 28 Just. Sys. J. 79 (2007).

Shari Seidman Diamond, Empirical Marine Life in Legal Waters: Clams, Dolphins, and Plankton, 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev. 803.

Lee Epstein & Gary King, Building an Infrastructure for Empirical Research in the Law, 53 J. Legal Educ. 311 (2003).

Lee Epstein & Gary King, The Rules of Inference, 69 U. Chi. L. Rev . 1 (2002).

Gary King, How Not to Lie with Statistics:  Avoiding Common Mistakes in Quantitative Political Science, 30 Am. J. Polit. Sci. 666 (1986).

Theodore Eisenberg, Why Do Empirical Legal Scholarship?, 41 San Diego L. Rev. 1741 (2004).

Tracey E. George, An Empirical Study of Empirical Legal Scholarship:  The Top Law Schools , 81 Ind. L. J. 141 (2006).

Mark Hall & Ronald Wright, Jr., Systematic Content Analysis of Judicial Opinions, __ Wake Forest L. Rev. __ (2006).

Michael Heise, The Past, Present, and Future of Empirical Legal Scholarship: Judicial Decision Making and the New Empiricism, 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev . 819.

Addy Illyard, Law’s Empire:  Socio-Legal Empirical Research in the Twenty-First Century, 34 J. L. & Society 266 (2007).

Kay Levine, The Law Is Not the Case:  Incorporating Empirical Methods into the Culture of Case Analysis, __ J. L. & Pub. Pol’y __ (2006).

Richard McAdams & Thomas Ulen, Introduction to the Symposium on Empirical and Experimental Methods in Law, 2000 U. Ill. L. Rev. __ (2002).

Gregory Mitchell, Empirical Legal Scholarship as Scientific Dialogue, 83 N.C. L. Rev. 167 (2004).

Sarah H. Ramsey & Robert F. Kelly, Assessing Social Science Studies:  Eleven Tips for Judges and Lawyers, 40 Fam. L.Q. 367 (2006).

Jennifer K. Robbennolt, Evaluating Empirical Research Methods: Using Empirical Research in Law and Policy, 81 Neb. L. Rev . 777 (2002).


I.  Agency Statistics

A.  Administrative Office of the Courts (Cornell Law School)

1.   Federal District Court Civil Trials

2.  State Court Civil Cases

3.  State Court Civil Jury Trials

B.  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics

C.  Federal Judicial Center:  This site contains information about all judges who have served since 1789 on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and the former U.S. Circuit Courts.

D.  Fed Stats:  This government portal contains direct links to the government agencies that fund and gather data as well as to their statistical data sets.  Over one hundred agencies are represented.  Statistics are oganized by geographic region, topic, and subject area.

E.  National Center for Education Statistics:  This site includes a variety of data sets,  surveys, and tables on topics such as adult literacy, primary and secondary education, post-secondary education, and school libraries.  Customized tables can be created by going here.

F.  Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

1.  Courts

2.  Sentencing

G.  U.S. Census Bureau:  Historical and current data are available via this site, which also features The Statistical Abstract to the United States.

H.  U.S. Courts:  This site includes bankruptcy, federal court management, federal judicial caseload, judicial, and wiretap statistics.

I.  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

J.  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

K.  U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Judicial Statistics

L.  U.S. Sentencing Commission

II.  Non-Agency Statistics

A.  ABA Market Research Department Statistical Resources

B.  Bankruptcy Research Database (Lynn LoPucki)

C.  National Center for State Courts

D.  Policy Agendas Project:  Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project tracks over 70,000 congressional hearings, which are organized by date, policymakers present, and topic.

E.  Sidney Ulmer Project:  This site contains a number of datasets with voting statistics and key attributes for federal and state judges.

F.  Transactional Records Access Clearing House (Syracuse)

G.  University of Michigan Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR):  Established in 1962, ICPSR is the world’s largest archive of digital social science data.

III.  Literature

A.  ELS Bibliography (Cornell Law & UCLA Law):  This online database features a search engine and contains empirical research in anthropology, economics, law, political science, psychology, and sociology.

B.  Legal Scholarship Network, Experimental & Empirical Studies:  This online database features a search engine and contains abstracts of working papers, forthcoming articles, and recently published articles dealing with experimental examinations of human behavior relevant to legal scholars and quantitative and qualitative empirical studies of issues relevant to legal scholars.




Empirical Legal Studies Blog (Official Blog of the Association of American Law Schools, Section on Law and Social Sciences)

Empirical Funding Sources (University of Buffalo Law Library)

Empirical Research Support (Duke University Law Library)

Empirical Resources (University of Texas Tarlton Law Library)

Empirical Resources (Washington University Law)

“Empirical Scholarship:  What Should We Study and How Should We Study It?” (Association of American Law Schools, 2006 Annual Meeting)

Second Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies:  Day One, Day Two

Third Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies