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An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research (SC)
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An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research (SC)

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Overview
Published Aug 2014 (OUP)
ISBN: 9780199669066. Soft Cover, 352 pages.
Description

Also available in Hard cover.

Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin

  • A concise, accessible introduction to understanding, conducting, and evaluating empirical research in a legal context 
  • Written by two of the world's leading experts in empirical legal research, drawing on many years' experience of training lawyers and students 
  • Presents the foundations of statistical modelling and analysis in a language accessible to lawyers with no background in mathematics or formal social science methods 
  • Supported by an extensive companion website that includes detailed case studies and sample data sets, introductions to statistical software, guides to best practice, and extensive references for further reading

Is the death penalty a more effective deterrent than lengthy prison sentences? Does a judge's gender influence their decisions? Do independent judiciaries promote economic freedom? Answering such questions requires empirical evidence, and arguments based on empirical research have become an everyday part of legal practice, scholarship, and teaching. In litigation judges are confronted with empirical evidence in cases ranging from bankruptcy and taxation to criminal law and environmental infringement. In academia researchers are increasingly turning to sophisticated empirical methods to assess and challenge fundamental assumptions about the law. As empirical methods impact on traditional legal scholarship and practice, new forms of education are needed for today's lawyers. All lawyers asked to present or assess empirical arguments need to understand the fundamental principles of social science methodology that underpin sound empirical research. 

An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research introduces that methodology in a legal context, explaining how empirical analysis can inform legal arguments; how lawyers can set about framing empirical questions, conducting empirical research, analysing data, and presenting or evaluating the results. The fundamentals of understanding quantitative and qualitative data, statistical models, and the structure of empirical arguments are explained in a way accessible to lawyers with or without formal training in statistics. 

Written by two of the world's leading experts in empirical legal analysis, drawing on years of experience in training lawyers in empirical methods, An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research will be an invaluable primer for all students, academics, or practising lawyers coming to empirical research - whether they are embarking themselves on an empirical research project, or engaging with empirical arguments in their field of study, research, or practice. 

Readership: Students, academics, and practising lawyers whose work is impacted by empirical legal research

About the Authors

Lee Epstein, Provost Professor and Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law & Political Science, University of Southern California, and Andrew D. Martin, Professor of Law, and Dean, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan 

Lee Epstein is the Provost Professor of Law and Political Science and the Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law at the University of Southern California. She has previously held posts at Northwestern University and Washington University, St Louis. Professor Epstein has received twelve grants from the National Science Foundation for her work on law and legal institutions, and has authored or co-authored 15 books, including The Behavior of Federal Judges: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Rational Choice (2013, with W.M. Landes and R.A. Posner), the Constitutional Law for a Changing America books (with T.G. Walker), and The Choices Judges Make, with J. Knight, which won the Pritchett Award for the Best Book on Law and Courts and the 2010 Lasting Contribution Award "for a book or journal article, 10 years or older, that has made a lasting impression on the field of law and courts."

Andrew Martin is Professor of Law and Dean at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He was previously the Founding Director of the Center for Empirical Research in the Law, and Professor of Political Science in Arts and Sciences at Washington University, St Luis. Professor Martin has received eight grants from the National Science Foundation, and is the author of numerous articles in prominent law and social science journals. Together with Professor Epstein he teaches the Annual Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship workshop, offering formal training in the design, conduct, and assessment of empirical studies and the use of statistical software to analyze and manage data. 

Table of Contents

1: Some Preliminaries

Part I: Designing Research 

2: Questions, Theories, Observable Implications 

3: Measurement 

Part II: Collecting and Coding Data 

4: Collecting Data

5: Coding Data 

Part III: Analyzing Data 

6: Summarizing Data 

7: Statistical Interference 

8: Regression Analysis: The Basics 

9: Multiple Regression Analysis and Related Methods 

Part IV: Communicating Data and Results 

10: General Principles for Communicating and Visualizing Data

11: Strategies for Presenting Data and Statistical Results 

12: Concluding Remarks 

Appendix A: Supplementary Materials

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