Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Statistical Analysis or permission of the instructor. This class can be taken as part of the HLS empirical track; concurrently taking the Applied Quantitative Analysis course is highly recommended.
Exam Type: No Exam
This course covers the most frequently used approaches in empirical legal research for collecting and analyzing data: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), text analysis and survey analysis. Many questions facing legal scholars and practitioners can only be answered by analyzing large collections of documents. Using novel techniques of text mining, legal documents can be navigated and analyzed quickly and more efficiently. GIS technology has broad applications in many disciplines and has been increasingly used by legal scholars and practitioners, examples of which are its wide use in gerrymandering, crime research and environmental law. The third approach, survey analysis, has become more common not only in scholarly research but also in the courtrooms.
Students will learn the essential skills to design and implement surveys; create, navigate and analyze textual and spatial data; visualize and interpret results. The class is hands-on and applied in nature. Students will produce a research paper in a topic they are interested in, using one of the tools.