University of Pittsburgh

Empirical Research in the Law Bibliography

I. Recommended Reading


Howell E. Jackson et al. , Chapter 8: Fundamentals of Statistical Analysis, in Analytical Methods for Lawyers 473 (Foundation Press 2003).

David L. Faigman et al ., Part II, Introduction to Science and the Scientific Method, in Modern Scientific Evidence: the law and science of expert testimony 46 (West 2005-2006), Westlaw ( MODSCIEVID ).

(Call number: KF8961 .M63 1997; last updated in 2000).

Federal Judicial Center , Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (Lexis 2d 2000); also available in Westlaw and Lexis.

(Call number: KF8961.A75 F42 2000).

Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics (William Morrow 2005).

(Call number: Hillman Library HB74.P8 L479 2005).

Neil J. Salkind, Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics (Sage Publications 2000).

(Call number: Hillman Library HA29 .S2365 2000).

Alan O. Sykes, An Introduction to Regression Analysis, in Chicago Lectures in Law and Economics 1 (Eric A. Posner ed., Foundation Press 2000).

(Call number: K487.E3 C483 2000).


Lee Epstein & Gary King, Building an Infrastructure for Empirical Research in the Law , 53 J. Legal Educ. 311 (2003).

Lee Epstein & Gary King, The Rules of Inference , 69 U. Chi. L. Rev . 1 (2002).

Michael Heise, The Past, Present, and Future of Empirical Legal Scholarship: Judicial Decision Making and the New Empiricism , 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev . 819 (2002).

Shari Seidman Diamond, Empirical Marine Life in Legal Waters: Clams, Dolphins, and Plankton, U. Ill. L. Rev. 803 (2002).

Theordore Eisenberg, Why Do Empirical Legal Scholarship? 41 San Diego L. Rev. 1741 (2004).

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

Michael Heise, The Past, Present, and Future of Empirical Legal Scholarship: Judicial Decision Making and the New Empiricism, 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev. 819 (2002).

Sarah H. Ramsey & Robert F. Kelly, Assessing Social Science Studies: Eleven Tips for Judges and Lawyers, 40 Fam. L. Q. 367 (2006).

Jennifer K. Robbennolt, Evaluating Empirical Research Methods: Using Empirical Research in Law and Policy , 81 Neb. L. Rev . 777 (2002).

II. University of Pittsburgh Resources

Statistical Information

Print Resources :

Books on Scientific Evidence and the Law: Barco Law Library Call Number KF 8900

Books on Theory and Method of Statistics: Hillman Call Numbers HA 29-32

Books on General statistics (demographics, vital statistics): Hillman Library Call Numbers HA154 —HA 4737

Pennsylvania Statistics (Hillman Library Call Number HA 600).

You can also search the University of Pittsburgh catalog for print resources. Conduct keyword searches using the government agency compiling or funding data as a term. Also, Search by topical area (ie Criminal justice and statistics)

ULS Digital Library Databases:

Select the following subject categories to locate applicable databases:

Government Publications;

Reference Resources; and


Specialized statistical databases are grouped under the applicable subject heading. For example, business and economic statistical databases may be located under the "Business" subject heading. These databases are not linked from the Statistics subject category.

Research Offices
University of Pittsburgh Office of Research

This web site provides information about external grants and access to a Faculty Expertise Database that can be used to locate faculty collaborators.

University Research Council

Provides University of Pittsburgh faculty with small grants for interdisciplinary research.

Software and Technology Support

Faculty Computing Center

This office provides access to free software for teaching faculty including statistical software packages .


III. Agency Statistics

Multiple Agencies


This government portal contains direct links to the government agencies that fund and gather data as well as to their statistical data sets. Over one hundred agencies are represented. Statistics are organized by geographic region, topic and subject area.

Business and Commerce

US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

BEA's national economic program provides a quantitative view of US domestic production, consumption, and investment, of exports and imports, and of national and domestic income and ; savings and features the estimates of GDP, which is one of the most closely watched of all economic statistics. Each month, BEA releases updated estimates of GDP for the previous quarter and new estimates of personal income and outlays for the previous month. Regional, industry and international statistics are also compiled on the site.

The Interactive Data Tables feature is a useful tool for creating and displaying customized tables based on economic data.


US Department of Justice, Bureau of Judicial Statistics

Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center

A project of the Bureau of Judicial Statistics

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics:



United States Sentencing Commission

Select the "publications" link for statistical data


National Center for Education Statistics

This site includes a variety of surveys, tables and data sets on topics such as adult literacy, primary and secondary education, postsecondary education and school libraries. Some data is restricted access; users must apply for access. On the main search screen, Data sets can be located by limiting the "type of product" field to "data file." Customized tables can be created by going to


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the nation's principal health statistics agency, providing data to identify and address health issues. NCHS compiles statistical information to help guide public health and health policy decisions.

NCHS produces data on a wide range of health indicators such as:

• Health insurance coverage and its relationship to access and utilization of health care services.

• Exposure to environmental chemicals.

• Prevalence of obesity and overweight among the U.S. population.

• Patterns and relationships of risk factors to specific diseases and populations.

• Nutrition and physical activity.

• Growth charts to monitor the development of children.

• Health status, health-related behaviors and risk factors.

• Key health indicators such as infant mortality, life expectancy, and teen births.

• Emergency department use and capacity to measure bioterrorism preparedness

• Practice of medicine in the U.S., the increasing use of prescription drugs, evolution of roles and practices of health care providers, and changes in institutions and health plans.

The web site's Data Warehouse section provides easy access to surveys and database products.

Labor and Employment Statistics

US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

This web site is the first place you should look for labor and employment statistics.

U.S. Census Bureau

Historical and current statistical data is available via this site. The Statistical Abstract to the United States can be accessed through the site.


This study explored the new roles of state and local law enforcement agencies and the changing conditions that came about as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. In order to examine the impact of terrorism on state and local police agencies, the investigators developed a survey that was administered to all state police, highway patrol agencies, and general-purpose state bureaus of investigation and a sample population of 400 local police and sheriff agencies in the spring of 2004.

U.S. Courts-Judiciary Center

This site compiles statistics related to the federal judicial system. Data sets include federal court case loads and bankruptcy statistics.

IV. Legislation

Policy Agendas Project

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project tracks over 70,000 congressional hearings, which are organized by date, the policymakers present, and the topic. The Policy Agendas Project now includes databases from a host of sources, all organized around a common set of about 225 topics. Public policy on the subject of water pollution, for example, is traceable through Congressional laws; through news stories written by the New York Times ; through every relevant sentence uttered in every Presidential State-of-the-Union speech; through the entire federal budget, through every decision by the Supreme Court; and through every story written about it in the Congressional Quarterly Almanac and in every bill introduced in Congress.

V. Courts


University of Michigan ICPSR

U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Database Terms Series

Several United States Supreme Court databases are archived in University of Michigan 's ICPSR database. A unit within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan , ICPSR is a membership-based organization, with over 500 member colleges and universities around the world including the University of Pittsburgh . ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction, and offers training in quantitative methods to facilitate effective data use.


Searchable Databases

Administrative Office of the Courts- Databases


UCLA Law Professor, Lynn M. LoPucki, created this free database of public company bankruptcy cases covering the period of 1980-present. Data is gathered from a variety of sources, the most important of which are the bankruptcy courts' files (on PACER) and the debtors' filings with the Securities Exchange Commission.

Federal Judges Biographical Database

Located on the Federal Judicial Center 's web site, the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges contains the service record of all judges who have served on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Circuit Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court since 1789. The directory and corresponding database are kept up-to-date. This resource provides the complete record of the judges' nomination, Senate confirmation, and service on the federal courts. Biographies of presidential appointments for the federal courts of special jurisdiction are also available on the Courts page of the site.

Supreme Court Nominations Database

Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Law and Social Science Program and with data compiled by Northwestern Professor of Law, Lee Epstein, this new multi-user, public database compiles information on individuals nominated (whether confirmed or not) to the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, the Database houses 263 variables, falling into roughly five categories: identifiers, background characteristics and personal attributes, nomination and confirmation, service on the Court, and departures from the bench.

Tables & Charts

Judicial Facts and Figures

Located on the official U.S. Courts web site are tables of the federal courts' historical caseload data primarily for the fiscal years 1990, 1995 and 2000 through 2005 based on federal court publications including Annual Report of the Director , the Judicial Business of the United States Courts , Federal Court Management Statistics.

VI. Specialized Journals & Conference Publications

Table of content email alerts can be created for most of the following publications. Contact Faculty Services Librarian Valerie Weis for assistance in creating these alerts.

  • American Law and Economics Review
  • Behavioral Sciences & the Law
  • Journal of Law, Economics & Organization
  • Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
  • Judicature
  • Justice System Journal
  • Law & Human Behavior
  • Law & Policy
  • Law & Society Review
  • Law & Social Inquiry
  • Supreme Court Economic Review
  • The Journal of Law & Economics
  • The Journal of Legal Studies

Conference Papers

Association of American Law Schools (AALS), Annual Meeting (2006)

SSRN Working Papers Alert Service

SSRN includes a Legal Scholarship Network, Experimental & Empirical Studies journal.

Sign up for email alerts at SSRN (registration is free but required) or browse subject matter category Legal Scholarship Network Experimental & Empirical Studies. Over 2000 papers were listed in this subject category at last count.

VII. Other Web Sites

Basic Statistics This site, created by a major statistical software company, emphasizes basic statistics terminology and concepts.

Empirical Legal Studies

The official blog of the American Association of Law Schools, Section on Law and Social Sciences.

Funding Sources for Legal Scholars

Located on the University of Buffalo Law Library web site, this guide to funding provides a good starting point for legal scholars interested in pursuing funding for their empirical projects.

University of Texas Tarlton Law Library Empirical Research Guide

Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

These web sites gather links to additional legal empirical resources and data sets.







Valerie A. Weis,







Faculty Services Librarian,

University of Pittsburgh School of Law

updated 8/28/08

Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC