Duke University has a vibrant research community involved in Empirical Legal Scholarship. Our Faculty Workshop provides scholars with an opportunity to receive feedback on their ongoing research, while resources on Duke's campus and at local universities provide opportunities for faculty to expand their empirical knowledge (see Consulting). Resources for self-directed study of empirical methods are also available (see Training).
Access to Empirical Legal Scholarship at Duke
Where to Publish ELS
Authors interested in publishing empirical legal scholarship have many potential avenues, in both traditional law reviews and peer-reviewed academic journals.
Peer Reviewed Academic Journals:
- The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies publishes articles on a wide variety of topics, with a focus on a strong empirical component
- The Journal of Law and Economics focuses on the intersection of law and economics.
- The Journal of Legal Studies publishes articles that emphasize social science approaches.
- Law and Policy publishes articles from a diverse background of viewpoints and methodologies.
- Law and Society Review publishes a wide variety of articles, including results of empirical studies.
- Law and Social Inquiry, which is published by the American Bar Association, promotes a wide variety of theoretical and methodological viewpoints.
- I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society focuses on the intersection of law, policy, and information technology.
- UCLA Law Review regularly publishes articles with empirical content, and has access to local resources (such as UCLA Law's Empirical Research Group) that ensure that empirical work receives fair and even reviews.
- Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy has taken an active interest in publishing empirical legal scholarship, particularly as it relates to public policy and the law.
- DePaul University Law Review has a mission of publishing "...empirical studies of local and national significance."
- Northwestern University Law Review regularly publishes interdisciplinary empirical research in their review.
- The University of Chicago's Law Review is an avenue for the publication of empirical research, as they have a substantial history of publishing such works.
- Vanderbilt University Law Review publishes a wide variety of empirical research.
- Wisconsin Law Review has a history of publishing a diverse offering of theoretical and methodological viewpoints.
Examples of Empirical Legal Scholarship
The field of ELS is growing rapidly, and many scholars have published works that are excellent examples of ELS. Below is a bibliography of ELS articles that exemplify a variety of methods and topics.
Stephen J. Choi and Mitu Gulat, Choosing the Next Supreme Court Justice: An Empirical Ranking of Judicial Performance UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 141; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 473281; Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 473281 (2004).
James D. Cox and Randall S. Thomas, Letting Billions Slip Through Your Fingers: Empirical Evidence and Legal Implications of the Failure of Financial Institutions to Participate in Securities Class Action Settlements, (December 2004). Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 05-01.
Barak D. Richman and Jeffrey Macher, Transaction Cost Economics: An Assessment of Empirical Research in the Social Sciences, (August 2006). Duke Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 115.
Salzman, James E., Beyond the Smokestack: Environmental Protection in the Service Economy , Working Paper: April 25, 1999.
Schwarcz, Steven L.,Enron and the Use and Abuse of Special Purpose Entities in Corporate Structures, 70 U.Cincinnati L. Rev. 1309 (2006).
Neil Vidmar, Kara MacKillop and Paul Lee, Million Dollar Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida: Post-Verdicts and Pre-Suit Settlements, 59 Vanderbilt L. Rev. 1343 (2006).
Benesh, Sara C. and Malia Reddick. 2002. "Overruled: An Event History Analysis of Lower Court Reaction to Supreme Court Alterations of Precedent." Journal of Politics 64(2): 534-550.
Christine Boyd, Lee Epstein and Andrew Martin, Untangling the Causal Effects of Sex on Judging, 2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Paper available at SSRN
Theodore Eisenberg, Death Sentence Rates and County Demographics: An Empirical Study, 90 Cornell L. Rev. 347 (2005)
Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, Kevin M. Quinn & Jeffrey A. Segal, Ideological Drift Among Supreme Court Justices: Who, When, and How Important? 101 Northwest. U.L.Rev. 1483 (2007).
William Henderson, An Empirical Study of Single-Tier versus Two-Tier Partnerships in the Am Law 200, 84 N.C. L. Rev. 1691 (2006), Paper Available at SSRN.
Gregory Sisk, and Michael Heise, Judges and Ideology: Public and Academic Debates about Statistical Measures, 99 Northwest.U.L.Rev. 743 (2005).
UCLA's Empirical Research Group has compiled an Empirical Legal Scholarship Bibliography. The bibliography is searchable by topic, author, title, or year. Users can also choose to download the entirety of the bibliography.