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Empirical Research: General Materials

This guide will provide resources for empirical legal research including information on data sets and statistical packages.

General Collections of Statistics

  • Proquest Statistical Insight:provides access to statistical information produced by Federal and State agencies, private organizations, and major intergovernmental organizations.  Data is available on topics such as crime, banking, education, energy, labor and employment and vital statistics.
  • Statista: presents statistics, consumer survey results, and industry studies on over 60,000 topics  
  • U.S. Census Bureau Data: data on numerous topics including poverty, housing, local employment, and income.  
  • The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): a data archive which hosts data on 16 different topics such as crime, education, aging, and substance abuse.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States: summary of statistics on the social, political and economic organization of the United States.  It includes data from a variety of federal agencies such as the Bureau of Labor and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • American Community Survey: produced by the US Census Bureau, this survey provides ongoing data to assist communities in planning for development.  Data is gathered on topics include age, sex, income, health insurance, veteran status, and disabilities. Data is available online from 2001 to 2010.  
  • Historical Statistics of the United States: published by Cambridge University Press, this resource collects statistics from over 1000 sources. Tables can be downloaded in excel or .csv format and can be customized.

Empirical Legal Research Centers

  • The Center for the Study of Law & Society at U C Berkeley's Law School fosters empirical research and analysis on legal institutions, processes, change, and the social consequences of law.
  • The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford is dedicated to the empirical study of law with a view to understanding its role in society.  Areas of research include public law, the state and citizen, dispute resolution, and the law in transitioning societies.

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  • Empirical Legal Studies Blog is an online forum to discuss and provide links to emerging empirical legal scholarship, provide conference updates, discuss empirical claims, and assess empirical methodologies.
  • Legal Scholarship Blog has an empirical portion that lists articles, websites, and data sources of interest. 
  • UCLA Academic Technology Services' Statistical Computing Page includes information on various statistical packages, examples of data analysis, and online tutorials.
  • Harvard University's Program on Survey Research has a number of very useful resources on survey research.
  • University of Wisconsin Law School's New Legal Realism Project seeks to develop an interdisciplinary paradigm for empirical research on law.

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Items without a link must be obtained through interlibrary loan. Please contact a reference librarian or use our online ILL system.

  • Acock, Alan C. A Gentle Introduction to Stata, 3rd ed.  College Station, Texas: Stata Press, 2010. QA276.45 S73 A36 2010
  • Cane, Peter & Kritzer, Herbert M. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. K2 .0938 2012.
  • Everitt, Brian.  Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics, 4th ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.  Available as an electronic resource from Fordham University Library.
  • Finkelstein, Michael O. Basic Concepts of Probability and Statistics in the Law. New York: Springer, 2009. QA276 .F468 2009
  • Fox, John. Applied Regression Analysis, Linear Models, and Related Methods.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1997.  HA31.3 .F69 2008
  • Garson, G. David. Guide to Writing Empirical Papers, Theses and Dissertations. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2002.
  • Gastwirth, Joseph L. Statistical Reasoning in Law and Public Policy. Boston: Academic Press, 1988. KF8968.75 .G37 1988.
  • Kadane, Joseph B. Statistics in the Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. QA276 .S783443 2008
  • Lawless, Robert M., et al. Empirical Methods in Law. New York: Wolters Kluwer, 2016. K212 .L394 2016
  • Levin, Jack.  Elementary Statistics in Social Research. Boston: Allyn & Bacon Pearson, 2010. HA29 .L388 2010. This title is available through Fordham University Library at Lincoln Center - Quinn Library.
  • Long, J. Scott. The Workflow of Data Analysis Using Stata. College Station, Texas: Stata Press, 2009. QA276.45 .S73 L66 2009

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  • UCLA Law has constructed a bibliography of Empirical Legal Studies articles from 2002 to 2014.

Peer-Reviewed Journals:

  • The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies is devoted to the dissemination of empirical studies of the legal system.  It publishes empirically-oriented articles in a range of law and law-related fields such as criminal justice, domestic relations, economics and health care.  You can find the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies at Fordham Law Library.
  • The Journal of Law and Economics publishes articles on topics such as the economic analysis of regulation, corporate finance and governance, and the political economy of legislation. 
  • Law & Society Review publishes research on the relationship between the legal process and society, including empirical studies. 
  • Law & Social Inquiry publishes articles, including empirical research, on law and sociology, economics, psychology, and political science. 

Law Reviews:


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  • Theodore Eisenberg, "The Origins, Nature and Promise of Empirical Legal Studies and and a Response to Concerns", Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper (December 17, 2010).  Available at SSRN:
  • Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin & Matthew M. Schneider, "On the Effective Communication of the Results of Empirical Studies, Part I", 59 Vand. L. Rev. 1811 (2006).
  • Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin & Christina L. Boyd, "On the Effective Communication of the Results of Empirical Studies, Part II", 60 Vand. L. Rev. 801 (2007).
  • Tracy E. George, "An Empirical Study of Empirical Legal Scholarship: The Top Law Schools", 81 Ind. L. J. 141 (2006).
  • Gregory Mitchell, "Empirical Legal Scholarship as Scientific Dialog", 83 N.C.L. Rev. 167 (2004).
  • Lee Epstein & Gary King, " Building an Infrastructure for Empirical Research in the Law", 53 J. Legal Educ. 311 (2003).
  • Michael Heise, "The Past, Present and Future of Empirical Legal Scholarship: Judicial Decision Making and the New Empiricism", 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev. 819.
  • Lee Epstein & Gary King, "The Rules of Inference" 69 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1 (2002).
  • Jennifer K. Robbennolt, "Evaluating Empirical Research Methods: Using Empirical Research in Law and Policy", 81 Neb. L.R. 777 (2002).

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