Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for the course. However, the course is aimed for students with a significant interest in empirical research. Students who have questions regarding whether the course would be suitable for them should feel free to contact the instructor.
Exam Type: No Exam
This one-credit course seeks to contribute to students that are planning to work on an empirical research project during 2019-2020 or later on. The course will follow a similar format to a non-credit series of dinner sessions that took place during 2018-2019 in which HLS student fellows conducting empirical research presented and got feedback on their projects.
Empirical work has been increasingly used in policymaking, litigation, regulation, and research regarding many legal areas, including criminal law, torts, environmental law, administrative law, the litigation process, corporate law, securities regulation, and so forth and so on. Some HLS students are planning to conduct empirical research (for a fellowship, independent written work, an LLM thesis, or some other purpose), and the course will provide them with an opportunity to present their project and get comments and feedback that would help improving their work. Some HLS students are planning to conduct empirical research later on in the future, and the course will expose them to how empirical research is designed, conducted, critically thought about, and improved by addressing identified problems.
The course will consist of six sessions all taking place in the 7-9pm slot to reduce the risk of conflict with other courses (dinner will be served). The first three sessions will take place in the fall semester (on the Thursdays of October 3, 10, and 17) and the last three sessions will take place in the spring semester (on the Wednesdays of February 19 and 26 and March 4).
There will be no examination. Instead, students doing an empirical project will be asked to do a presentation in class about their project, and students not doing an empirical project during 2019-2020 will be asked to submit, before sessions, a brief memo on the materials to be presented in the session. Grades will be based on such presentations or brief memos primarily, but could be raised in case of good class participation.
Students who wish to do their empirical project in conjunction with the course may do so for additional credit.