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Randomized Control Trials in the United States Legal Profession

17 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2016 Last revised: 16 Mar 2016

D. James Greiner

Harvard University - Center on the Legal Profession; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Andrea Matthews

Harvard Law School

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Date Written: February 2, 2016

Abstract

We assemble studies within a set that we label "randomized control trials ('RCTs') in the United States legal profession," projects that essentially consist of field experiments conducted for the purpose of obtaining knowledge in which randomization replaces a decision that would otherwise have been made by a member of the United States legal profession. We use our assembly of approximately fifty studies to begin addressing the question of why the United States legal profession, in contrast to the United States medical profession, has resisted the use of the RCT as a knowledge-generating device.

Keywords: empirical legal studies, randomized control trials, law

Suggested Citation

Greiner, D. James and Matthews, Andrea, Randomized Control Trials in the United States Legal Profession (February 2, 2016). Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 16-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2726614

Daniel James Greiner (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Center on the Legal Profession ( email )

1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Wasserstein Hall, Suite 5018
Cambridge, MA 02138
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(617) 496-4643 (Phone)

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrea Matthews

Harvard Law School ( email )

1557 Massachusetts Ave
6 Ever
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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