Introduction — Modern Legal Realism: Paving the Way for Theoretically-Informed Empirical Research in the Legal Academy

IN: Research Handbook on Modern Legal Realism, eds S. Talesh, E. Mertz, & H. Klug, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK., 2021 Forthcoming

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-56

40 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2020

See all articles by Shauhin A. Talesh

Shauhin A. Talesh

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Elizabeth Mertz

Independent

Heinz Klug

University of Wisconsin Law School

Date Written: August 11, 2020

Abstract

This introductory chapter shows the distinctive qualities of New Legal Realism (NLR), captures where it stands around its fifteenth anniversary, and explains the goal of the larger book. In doing so, we demonstrate NLR’s fruitful continuation of the legal realist adventure as it reaches beyond historical and national boundaries to form new international conversations, based heavily on law-and-society networks and traditions. In addition, we provide a contrast to Empirical Legal Studies, because the NLR project clearly visible in this volume does not just use quantitative methods to study lawyers and legal institutions as they have been traditionally viewed. Instead, it includes chapters by social scientists and law professors using social science theory and multiple methods to understand law and address legal problems—across an impressive variety of subject areas such as immigration, policing, globalization, legal education, and access to justice. Finally, it offers a series of chapters from scholars—across an array of law and social science disciplines—explaining what particular disciplinary approaches offer to the process of translating law and empirical research. Overall, this volume highlights the powerful virtues of new legal realist research and an appreciation and awareness of the challenges of translation between social science and law.

Suggested Citation

Talesh, Shauhin A. and Mertz, Elizabeth and Klug, Heinz, Introduction — Modern Legal Realism: Paving the Way for Theoretically-Informed Empirical Research in the Legal Academy (August 11, 2020). IN: Research Handbook on Modern Legal Realism, eds S. Talesh, E. Mertz, & H. Klug, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK., 2021 Forthcoming, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-56, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3671933

Shauhin A. Talesh (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive, Ste. 4800L
Irvine, CA 92697
United States
818-439-2719 (Phone)

Elizabeth Mertz

Independent

Heinz Klug

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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