News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

5/23-25/12 Empirical Legal Scholarship Workshop

image of header from 2012 Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship WorkshopTime is running out for you to register for the 11th Annual Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship Workshop.  The Workshop will be held 23-25 May 2012 at the University of Southern California  Gould School of Law, and the registration deadline is 5/11/12.  Sponsored by USC Law and Washington University School of Law, the Workshop is designed for law school faculty, political science faculty, and graduate students interested in learning how “to design, conduct, and assess empirical studies, as well as use statistical software to analyze and manage data.”  The Workshop requires a laptop, but participants do not need a background in statistics.  The $850 registration fee includes all Workshop materials, temporary access to STATA software, and several meals.  Workshop teachers will be Lee Epstein, Provost Professor and Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law and Political Sciences, USC; and Andrew D. Martin, Professor of Law and Political Science and Director of the Center for Empirical Research in the Law, Washington University.   For additional information, and to register, consult the Workshop Web site.

Create Graphs of Word Usage in Supreme Court Opinions with Legal Language Explorer

The Legal Language Explorer allows you to create graphs showing the number of U.S. Supreme Court cases which used a certain word  or phrase over time.  You can specify a time period between 1791 and 2005.  I created a graph showing the use of the word “penumbra” from 1911 to 2005.  You can put in several words and phrases and get overlaying graphlines in different colors.

The site will also generate a list of the cases which used that word or phrase.

Here is an SSRN article about the database, written by its creators.

This Just In: The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research

The editors of this new and weighty handbook concede that “mainstream” legal scholars may find empirical legal research “difficult and somewhat mysterious.” The three parts of this tome aim to make this hot area of legal studies a little less challenging. According to the publisher, the The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research “provide(s) accessible and original discussions of the history, aims and methods of empirical research about law, as well as its achievements and potential.” Part one covers the development of empirical legal research; part two illustrates the use of empirical legal research in many areas of law; part three introduces readers to research methods and discusses the role of empirical legal research in law school curricula.

You can check out a copy from AO66 at K235 .O938 2010.

2/4-6/11 Empirical Legal Scholarship Course

Northwestern University School of Law Empirical Scholarship Workshop LogoOn 4-6 February 2011, Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship Workshop:  The Advanced Course will take place at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.   Sponsored by the Northwestern University School of Law and Washington University School of Law, this $850 Course is designed for law school faculty and librarians who have some experience with empirical legal research and an understanding of elementary statistics.   Course presenters will be Lee Epstein, Henry Wade Rogers Professor at Northwestern University, and a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and American Academy of Arts and Science, as well as Andrew Martin, Professor of Law and Political Science, and Director of the Center for Empirical Research in the Law, at Washington University.   Course topics will include multiple regression, presenting results from non-linear models, data visualization and graphics, and matching methods for casual inference.   For additional information, consult the Course brochure and/or Web site.

Get Me the Stats On That, Stat!

Amy Burchfield, Access & Faculty Services Librarian | August 15, 2008 – 08:49

The latest buzz in legal scholarship is empirical legal studies, which is the topic of this informative blog written by a group of numbers-oriented law profs and this research guide from librarians at Georgetown.

Empirical legal studies wouldn’t exist as a discipline, of course, without its foundation in statistical research. Over 100 federal government agencies compile staggering amounts of statistical data, all of which is neatly organized and readily accessible through FedStats. While far from glitzy, FedStats is nonetheless an excellent portal to federal agency statistics on hundreds of topics, organized by subjects and agencies. There’s even a section for kids.

So if statistics make you queasy, as they do me, FedStats might just ease you gently into numbers research.