Update: Due to the pandemic, the conference has been rescheduled to Nov. 4-5, 2022.

The University of Virginia School of Law will host the 16th annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, known as CELS, in 2021.

Additionally, Professors Michal Barzuza, Kevin Cope and Quinn Curtis were elected to the Society for Empirical Legal Studies board of directors for three-year terms, effective Nov. 15.

Sponsored by the society, the conference brings together scholars from law, economics, political science, psychology, policy analysis and other fields who are interested in the empirical analysis of law and legal institutions.

“UVA Law is increasingly one of the world’s centers for empirical legal studies, and being selected to host CELS 2021 reflects that stature,” Cope said. “Hosting CELS will also help to further build UVA’s national and global reputation for interdisciplinary legal research.”

The conference presents papers that engage in empirical and experimental scholarship on legal issues spanning all areas of empirical legal studies. The papers, which are selected through a peer review process, are presented in panels, with assigned commenters for each paper, and opportunities for audience discussion.

Fourteen members of the Law School faculty hold a Ph.D. in a social science discipline with a quantitative focus, and over a dozen more have published their empirical research in law reviews or peer-reviewed law or social science journals. Over the past several years, several faculty members have participated at CELS as either presenters or panelists.

Barzuza serves as a research member of the Brussels-based European Corporate Governance Institute. Her co-authored paper “Long-Term Bias” inspired an analysis published in March in The Wall Street Journal. Barzuza earned an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Cope is an associate professor of law at the Law School, an associate professor of law and public policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and faculty affiliate at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. One of his ongoing projects involves developing an “expert crowd-sourced” text-analysis method for rating all U.S. federal judges on a single ideological scale. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan and J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Curtis teaches courses on corporate law, securities and venture capital. His research focuses on empirical law and finance. In May, he authored a Washington Post op-ed based on his paper “Costs, Conflicts, and College Savings: Evaluating Section 529 Savings Plans.” He earned a Ph.D. in finance from the Yale School of Management and J.D. from Yale Law School.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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