Introduction to the Symposium on Empirical and Experimental Methods in Law
12 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2003
In April, 2001, the University of Illinois College of Law hosted a symposium on empirical and experimental methods in legal scholarship. This introduction explains that the organizers deemed the symposium to be timely in that there has been a significant increase in the volume and importance of empirical work related to legal topics and the first tentative steps in applying experimental methods to the study of law. The authors of this introduction elaborate on these trends and then briefly describe the articles that were presented at the symposium and subsequently published in the University of Illinois Law Review.
The symposium had two principal parts. The articles in the first part lay out the general case for empirical and experimental work in law, explain some of the relevant techniques, and predict future trends in empirical legal research. The articles in the second part concentrate on empirical and experimental work in particular areas of the law, such as contract law, tort law, corporation law, legal history, criminal law and procedure, and public choice. Those articles summarize the work done thus far and the issues that that work has resolved and then lays out the questions that further empirical and experimental work must seek to answer. The symposium is dedicated to the memory of Professor Gary Schwartz, who participated and whose contribution on empirical work in tort law graces the proceedings.
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