Empirical Legal Studies (YR)

Information Introduction

Section 1, Fall 24

Schedule Information

Enrollment: /14
Credits: 3
Days Time Room Start Date End Date


1540-1840 SL276

Course Description

Legal practice and research increasingly involve analysis of big data to resolve legal questions, and the importance of quantitative analysis is likely to continue growing in the coming years. Many legal employers may value lawyers who have at least basic familiarity with empirical research methods. During the fall semester, the course will introduce students to empirical methods and ask them to design an empirical legal study that contributes to an area of law. Among other things, students will learn to: (1) conduct a statistical analysis to produce descriptive and summary statistics on an empirical legal topic; (2) calculate correlation statistics in statistical analysis software, using different modeling techniques; (3) develop and execute an empirical strategy to make causal inferences about an empirical legal topic; (4) evaluate the quality of empirical legal research; and (5) identify an interesting empirical legal research question, research the relevant scholarship, and draft a plausible research design to explore that question. During the spring semester, students will focus on completing their study and writing their research paper. At the end of spring semester, students will present their paper at a workshop open to all UVA law faculty and students. The instructors suspect that some students might eventually submit their papers for publication, perhaps with advice and/or collaboration with a faculty member.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

in the fall semester, students will develop empirical methods and materials for a substantial research paper to be drafted in the spring term (due via EXPO by noon on May 8, 2025. Students will present drafts of their project to the class and will offer constructive criticism of other students’ papers. Though it is not required, the instructors suspect that some students could later submit their papers for publication, perhaps with advice and/or collaboration with a faculty member.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: Empirical Legal Studies I (9102) or Empirical Legal Studies II (9103)

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: No

Course Resources: To be announced.

Course Notes: No experience with statistics or quantitative analysis is required or expected.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: No

Satisfies Writing Requirement: Yes

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 124820858

Modified Type: ABA 1st Half Excl.

Cross Listed: No

Waitlist Count: 0

Concentrations: Economics and Social Science

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, November 22, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 06, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Friday, July 19, 2024 - 7:02 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.