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Empirical Legal Studies

Introduction to empirical legal studies--an approach to studying and law and legal institutions that draws on social science methods.

Empirical Legal Studies - Books

The following books offer introductions to the field.

Empirical Legal Studies - Journals

Empirical legal studies articles can appear in general law reviews. They can also be found in journals for political science, sociology, or other disciplines.

The following are journals that concentrate on empirical legal studies. If you're curious, browsing recent issues of these journals will give you a good flavor of the field.


SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network includes Experimental & Empirical Studies eJournals. You can browse the combined collections, or choose a smaller collection:

(The numbers indicate the numbers of papers as of the date they were copied and pasted to the guide: March 29, 2024.)
Within any collection you are browsing, you can sort by date or by most downloaded—a good way to find influential papers. You can also search within a collection—e.g., by searching for empirical papers that use the word "transgender."
For more on SSRN, see our guide:

Articles About Empirical Legal Research

Tracey E. George, An Empirical Study of Empirical Legal Scholarship: The Top Law Schools, 81 Ind. L.J. 141 (2006), [HeinOnline]

Gregory Mitchell, Empirical Legal Scholarship as Scientific Dialogue, 83 N.C. L. Rev. 167 (2004), [HeinOnline]