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About the Book

Empirical Methods in Law

Front Cover - Empirical Methods in Law

A Clear and Accessible Introduction to Empirical Methods

Robert M. Lawless
University of Illinois

Jennifer K. Robbennolt
University of Illinois

Thomas S. Ulen
University of Illinois

2010. 446 pages. ISBN: 978-0-7355-7725-1. With Teacher’s Manual.


About the Book

Today’s legal profession demands that lawyers understand and engage in dialogue about basic empirical research techniques.  Empirical Methods in Law teaches law students to recognize when empirical research needs to be applied in legal practice.  It provides the vocabulary with which to communicate with scientific experts, and an awareness of the type of questions to ask about empirical findings. 

Hailing from diverse backgrounds, authors Lawless, Robbennolt, and Ulen bring practical experience and insight to this accessible research methods text that features:

  • a consistent focus on basic principles and concepts, explained in an intuitive style requiring no prerequisite knowledge of math or statistics
  • clear explanations geared to students new to empirical techniques
    optional problem sets and footnotes that will challenge more experienced students who are eager to explore specific topics in depth
  • generous use of examples that show how empirical techniques are applied in a range of substantive areas
  • coverage of different stages of empirical research—from formulating research questions and testable hypotheses, to data collection, sampling, coding, statistical analysis, and presenting data
    • discussion of the connections among the different stages of empirical research
  • sidebars with in-depth views of particular topics that provide flexible options for teaching
  • learning-by-doing exercises at the end of each chapter

Combining expertise and an exceptionally student-friendly approach, Empirical Methods in Law is suited for a stand-alone course on empirical methods in law or as a supplement for a course or seminar that includes an empirical component.