Empirical Legal Training in the U.S. Academy

Christine B. Harrington and Sally Engle Merry

in The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199542475
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Empirical Legal Training in the U.S. Academy


This article begins with discussing challenges encountered while managing the epistemology of legal modes of thinking and social science, and the limits of relying on discipline-based methodologies for the advancement of empirical legal scholarship. In then discusses two approaches to empirical legal training employed in New York. Through this, it seeks to demonstrate the strengths of collaborative research with illustrations of a cross-national collaboration. Empirical research on law is a multi-method phenomenon. Ideally, empirical legal training means that students need and can further foster a background in a broad range of social science methods and in a set of methods that can use triangulation or juxtaposition to capture the factors that explain law as a social phenomenon.

Keywords: legal modes of thinking; empirical legal training; empirical legal scholarship; collaborative research; triangulation; social phenomenon

Article.  6353 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »