Empirical Studies in Law

Empirical Legal Studies (ELS) is a relatively new approach to the study of law, legal procedure, and legal theory through the use of empirical research. The empirical legal scholar offers a positive theory of a law or legal institution and then tests that theory using a model-based approach coupled with a quantitative method. Legal realism is considered the first movement that brought empirical studies to law half a century ago. Since then, scholars in the social sciences such as sociology, psychology and economics have been applying quantitative measures and statistical techniques to the study of courts, judges and other legal institutions. Empirical evidence is frequently cited by American courts in major judicial rulings such as Brown v. the Board of Education. However, only in recent years, empirical study of law, particularly the courts, rose to a level of prominence in the legal academy. In 2004, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies was launched by the Society for Empirical Legal Studies and Cornell Law School. The 2006 meeting of the American Law School (AALS) is devoted to the topic of empirical legal studies. Though the first decade of the Twenty-First century was labeled as a "Quantitative Moment" in the legal academy, both quantitative and qualitative methods have been called for in the study of law.




Research Group

Chen, Baifeng (link)

Chen, Ruoying (link)

Cheng, Jinhua (link)

Hou, Liyang (link)

Hu, Ming (link)

Lei, Yawen (link)

Liu, Sida (link)

Lu, Hong (link)

Wang, Yaxin (link)