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Empirical Research: Courts, Judges & Lawyers

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

General Materials

  • Statical Resources from the American Bar Association: information on law firm size, law firm diversity. lawyer demographics & salaries.


US Supreme Court

  • The US Supreme Court Justices Database: this database contains information on individuals nominated (whether confirmed or not) to the US Supreme Court, starting with John Jay and continuing to Sonia Sotomayor.  There are 263 variables in the categories of background characteristics, nomination and confirmation, service on the court and departure from the bench.

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Federal Courts of Appeal

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Federal District Courts

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State Courts

  • Court Statistics Project from the National Center for State Courts: includes information on state courts' structure and caseload.
  • The State Court Organization data series: information on the structure and framework of state trial and appellate courts.  Includes information on selection and service requirements of judges, the governance, finance and administration of the judicial branch and the composition and workings of state juries.  Data were collected in 1980, 1987, 1993, 1998, 2004 and 2011.
  • State Court Districts: from the US Census bureau, this site provides the State Court districts for each state.  It also has basic statistical information on each district, including information on the number of judges and how they are elected.

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Foreign and International

  • The National High Courts Database: includes information on decisions by the high courts of eleven countries, over an extended period of time.  Countries include Canada, India, and Australia, amonst others.
  • Court of Justice of the European Union: the annual report of the ECJ includes statistics on the activitie of the Court of Justice as well as the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.  Reports go back to 1997.
  • International Courts Data: site provides access to datasets collected by scholars on institutions such as the ECJ, ECHR, ICJ and GATT/WTO, amongst others.

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