Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Call for Papers: Conference on Empirical Legal Studies

USC Gould School of Law
November 20 & 21, 2009
Call for Papers (Submission Deadline: 15 July 2009)

The Fourth Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies will be held at the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles, California on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21, 2009. The meeting is the annual conference of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (SELS). It will feature original empirical and experimental legal scholarship by leading scholars from diverse fields.

Papers for the conference should be submitted no later than July 15, 2009. Information and instructions on how to submit a paper online are available here.

Comprehensive information about the conference -- including information about registration, paper submission, travel, and hotels -- is available here.
The conference's objectives are: (i) to encourage and develop empirical and experimental scholarship on legal issues by providing scholars with an opportunity to present and discuss their work with an interdisciplinary group of people interested in the empirical study of law; and (ii) to stimulate ongoing conversations among scholars in law, economics, political science, demographics, finance, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines. The conference's audience will include paper presenters, commentators, and other attendees, and will include many of the nation's leading empirical legal scholars. The goal is productive discourse on both particular papers and appropriate methodologies. We especially encourage submissions from junior scholars.

We welcome submissions of papers in all areas of empirical and experimental legal scholarship.* You are welcome to register for and attend the conference whether or not you submit a paper and whether or not your paper is accepted.

This year's conference is organized by USC Gould School of Law. Daniel Klerman and Mathew McCubbins chair this year's Organizing Committee, which includes Gillian Hadfield, Thomas Lyon, Dan Simon, and Matthew Spitzer. The SELS Board of Directors are Jennifer Arlen (NYU), Bernard Black (University of Texas), Shari Seidman Diamond (Northwestern), Theodore Eisenberg (Cornell), Dame Hazel Genn (University College London), Valerie Hans (Cornell), Michael Heise (Cornell), Daniel Klerman (USC), Mathew McCubbins (UC San Diego & USC), Geoffrey Miller (NYU), Jeffrey Rachlinski (Cornell), and Roberta Romano (Yale).
General inquiries concerning the 2009 conference program should be directed to the conference organizers at: cels2009@law.usc.edu

If you have other questions you may contact: Mira Dalpe or Marie CleavesUSC Gould School of Law(213) 821-1239 or (213) 740-3841mailto:740-3841cels2009@law.usc.edu

* Since it has not always been clear whether legal history is welcome at meetings on "empirical legal studies," I asked my colleague Dan Klerman, a legal historian and conference organizer, about papers by legal historians. He encourages you to submit. When doing so, pay particular attention to this instruction (on the conference webpage):

Paper Submission Policies:

This conference is for "empirical" and "experimental" studies of law and law-related issues. Studies that are not empirical or quantitative in nature, or are not about law or law-related issues are usually outside its scope.

· A loose definition of "empirical": the collection, description and analysis of "data" (usually accompanied by application of statistical methods), plus well done case studies, preferably several to allow comparison across the studies.

· Data can be usually understood to be the sufficient plural of anecdote to permit application of said statistical methods.…

· We may on occasion accept case studies or interview-based studies that engage in detailed discussion and analysis of subjects on which quantitative empirical evidence is important, yet difficult to come by. The term "case studies” does NOT INCLUDE traditional legal scholarship which examines particular judicial decisions, including scholarship which descriptively studies and compares decisions….

If in doubt, please ask: If you are not sure if a paper fits the conference scope, please feel free to ask one of the organizers before submitting the paper at cels2009@law.usc.edu.

Dan suggested that "Legal history papers which use quantitative or statistical methods are the most obviously appropriate, but, as the policies set out above suggest, some other kinds of legal history (especially of a comparative kind) might be appropriate as well."

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