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Lee Epstein
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Lee Epsteing Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor
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CREATING AN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE CREATION, DISSEMINATION, AND CONSUMPTION OF HIGH-QUALITY EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
Published in 2003. Journal of Legal Education 53:311-320.

Lee Epstein
Gary King

In every discipline in which "empirical research" has become commonplace, scholars have formed a subfield or research group devoted to solving the methodological problems unique to that discipline’s data and theoretical questions.. Although students of economics, political science, psychology, sociology, business, education, medicine, public health, and so on primarily focus on specific substantive questions, they cannot wait for those in other fields to solve their methodological problems or to teach them "new" methods, wherever they were initially developed. In "The Rules of Inference," we argued for the creation of an analogous methodological subfield devoted to legal scholarship. We also had two other objectives: (1) to adapt the rules of inference used in the natural and social sciences, which apply equally to quantitative and qualitative research, to the special needs, theories, and data in legal scholarship and (2) to offer recommendations on how the infrastructure of teaching and research at law schools might be reorganized so that it could better support the creation of first-rate quantitative and qualitative empirical research without compromising other important objectives.

In this symposium, several law school deans respond to (2)—the recommendations.

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