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Empirical Legal Research   Tags: legal research  

Resources and services to help faculty conduct and present data-driven research projects; a bibliography of such projects by University of Virginia Law School professors.
Last Updated: Aug 20, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
Empirical Legal Research Print Page

Empirical Research Support for Law Faculty

Empirical Research Support for Law Faculty Empirical research is a growing part of legal scholarship. It requires a broader set of tools than the traditional legal scholar may be acquainted with. The Law Library supports our faculty's empirical research projects in a number of ways.

Data Collection

It's tedious to scan hundreds of documents, let alone extract relevant data from them. The library staff can automate data collection tasks to produce datasets in a variety of formats.


Statistical Software

Library staff work primarily in SAS and STATA and can open, import/export files to Excel (or other formats), join to other datasets, and otherwise manipulate files according to your needs.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

A significant amount of data is place-based and GIS allows users to make query and display data based on place (i.e. zip code, ½ mile within a major river, etc.) and/or on attributes (i.e. counties with a median income above $50,000). If you have a project where spatial analysis would be of interest please contact a reference librarian.


Visualization and Display of Data

It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words. The library staff can design web pages with charts and graphs that represent empirical data in a visually compelling way. See Professor Brandon Garrett's Federal Organizational Prosecution Agreements web page for one example.

Empirical Studies Publications in the UVA Law Library

Featured resources for empirical legal research held by the UVA Libraries:

Empirical Data Search Engines

  • Zanran
    Search engine for data provided on the internet in graphic or tabular format.
  • WorldMeters
    Selected world statistics updated in real time.

Empirical Research Support Available through UVA's Main Grounds

Several groups on Main Grounds can assist with particular types of research:



Examples of empirical research projects supported by the Law Library:

UVA Law Professor Brandon Garrett's Federal Organizational Prosecution Agreements

Hedge Fund Document Collection 

Contact Jon Ashley or John Roper for more information.


New Publications

Recent Law Library acquisitions relating to empirical legal research and study:

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