Empirical Research Methods Workshops
In 2007 the Center for the Study of Law and Society launched the CSLS Miniseries on Empirical Research Methods.The series introduces Berkeley Law faculty, CSLS affiliated faculty & visiting scholars, and JSP & other graduate students interested in conducting empirical research on law to a wide range of empirical methods, both quantitative and qualitative. Workshops are led by leading experts on particular methodologies, including some of our own faculty.
Criminal Justice Data Analysis
Description: In Criminal Justice Data Analysis, Stephen Raphael, Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, discussed the major public access criminal justice databases used by researchers in the United States. In addition to the two major sources of crime data (data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program and the National Criminal Victimization Survey), he discussed other data sources that provide micro-level information on criminal procedure, including the State Court Processing Statistics, the periodic Survey of State and Federal Corrections Facilities, and the National Corrections Reporting Program. The seminar highlighted innovative uses of these data products and discussed potential for future research. It also touched upon the use of administrative data from criminal justice agencies in non-experimental and experimental research, and the potential for linking criminal justice information to data other administrative data sets such as vital statistics and employment data. Workshop materials: powerpoint slides.
What is D-Lab? And What Does It Have to Do with the Study of Law?
Description: In What is D-Lab? And What Does It Have to Do with the Study of Law?, Justin McCrary, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley and Director of the Social Science Data Laboratory, or D-Lab, explained D-Lab’s role in facilitating empirical work for UC Berkeley faculty, graduate students, and advanced graduate students, with a focus on addressing the extent to which the new resources being offered through D-Lab make it easier to answer existing empirical legal studies questions and to pose new ones. Workshop materials: Powerpoint slides
Using Video Records to Analyze Interactions
Nikki Jones, Geoffrey Raymond, and Kirstin Precoda
Description: In Using Video Records to Analyze Interactions, Nikki Jones, Associate Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley, Geoffrey Raymond, Associate Professor of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara, and Kirstin Precoda, Director, Speech Technology and Research Lab, SRI International discuss ways to gather, organize and analyze video records, including video records that have been gathered by non-social scientists for other purposes, and illustrate ways to code video records for statistical analysis from their study of police-citizen encounters.
Principal-Agent Models of Legal Institutions
Description: “Principal-Agent Models of Legal Institutions” was led by Sean Gailmard, Associate Professor of Political Science, Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies (BELS) Faculty Fellow, CSLS, Berkeley Law, UCB. Drawing on game theory to represent situations in which one actor attempts to induce another actor to take a favorable decision on his or her behalf, this family of models has become an increasingly important perspective in analysis of law and lawmaking institutions. Workshop materials: Gailmard reading, Powerpoint slides
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Ethnography of the Global
Sally Engle Merry
Description: In “Ethnography of the Global”, Sally Engle Merry, Professor of Anthropology (Institute for Law and Society), New York University Law School explores four methods of studying the global through ethnography, using empirical data from her research on gender violence and human rights. Workshop materials: Marcus reading, Merry, Measuring the World, Merry, Transnational Human Rights
The Spatial Model of Voting: Theory and Empirics
Description: In “The Spatial Model of Voting: Theory and Empirics”, Kevin Quinn, Professor of Law, Berkeley Law provides a tour of this line of research and draws connections from the relevant literature in political science to issues of interest to scholars of law and legal institutions. Workshop materials: Powerpoint slides
Survey Research in an Era of Diversity, Polarization, and Technological Change
Description: In “Survey Research in an Era of Diversity, Polarization, and Technological Change”, Taeku Lee, Professor of Political Science and Law, and Department Chair, U.C. Berkeley, asks, in light of the challenges posed in the title, what can public opinion surveys tell us (or fail to tell us), and what is their relevance to social and political research? Lee provides an overview of sampling, measurement, the psychology of survey response, and the design of questionnaires.
Connecting Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Close Encounters — of What Kind?
Description: In “Connecting Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Close Encounters — of What Kind?”, David Collier, Chancellor’s Professor of Political Science, Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, U.C. Berkeley, addresses current debates on multi-method research in political and social science. The workshop considers the implications of various perspectives for methodologically-informed research, focusing both on concept-formation and measurement, and on causal inference. Workshop bibliography.
Social Network Analysis in Sociolegal Research
Description: In “Social Network Analysis in Sociolegal Research,” John Hipp, Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society; Planning, Policy and Design; and Sociology, University of California, Irvine, demonstrates how social networks are a powerful theoretical and methodological approach that can provide new insights into sociolegal research. These measures can capture, among other thing, the position of individuals in the network, as well as the overall structure of the network.
Description: In “Comparative Socio-legal Research“, David Nelken, Distinguished Professor of Legal Institutions and Social Change, University of Macerata, Italy, and Distinguished Research Professor of Law, University of Cardiff, Wales, discusses how to grasp, create and handle data relevant to this cross-cultural type of understanding. Drawing on his experience moving from the UK to Italy, he asks about the meaning and applicability of the concept of legal culture more generally, and the possibilities and consequences of attempts to impose global prescriptions and standards.
Legal History and/or History in Law
Hendrik (Dirk) Hartog
Description: In “Legal History and/or History in Law“, Hendrik (Dirk) Hartog, Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty, Professor of History, and Director, Program in American Studies, Princeton University explains the different streams of scholarly practices that are mixed and matched within the broad subject entitled “legal history.” Workshop material: Robert Gordon’s “Critical Legal Histories.”
Experimental Design Strategies
Description: Professor Robert MacCoun, Professor of Law and Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley, led a workshop entitled “Experimental Design Strategies.” Experimental methods remain the most powerful method for testing causal hypotheses in empirical legal studies. In this workshop, MacCoun stipulates that experimentation creates tradeoffs with respect to real-world generalizability, and instead focuses on designing experiments that are maximally informative for testing theory. Workshop materials: Workshop slides
The ABCs of Data Management: Sampling, Weights, and Missing Data
Description: “The ABCs of Data Management: Sampling, Weights, and Missing Data (using STATA),” was led by Su Li, Research Methodologist/Statistician, Berkeley Law. This workshop introduces participants to the basics of data cleaning while addressing the most commonly seen data management issues and problems.
Using Old and New Media as Data Sources
Jennifer S Earl
Description: In “Using Old and New Media as Data Sources,” Jennifer S. Earl, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the PhD Emphasis in Technology and Society, University of California, Santa Barbara, explains that using older media (e.g., newspapers) and new media (e.g., websites) requires sensitivity to the production dynamics of specific media, which can affect how the source records, represents, and archives social life. Workshop materials: Powerpoint slides
Doing Story-Based Research in Socio-Legal Studies
Michael Musheno and Steven Maynard-Moody
Description: In “Doing Story-Based Research in Socio-Legal Studies,” Michael Musheno, Department of Criminal Justice, SFSU and Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at CSLS and Steven Maynard-Moody, Director, Institute for Policy and Social Research, University of Kansas, ask a series of questions, beginning with Why do story-based research in socio-legal studies? And include narrative responses to these questions from a number of socio-legal scholars around the country as well as their own ideas and data. Workshop materials: Bibliography, Queries and Scholars’ Answers, Two stories
How to Design Research to Evaluate Programs
Description: In How to Design Research to Evaluate Programs, Justin McCrary, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Law and Economics Program, University of California, Berkeley considers how to design research to evaluate programs by focusing on a particular example, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) Clean Slate Program, which seeks to help individuals through the legal process of clearing a conviction from their criminal record. Workshop material: Powerpoint Lecture
GIS, Analytical Mapping, and Spatial Modeling: Crime, Law and Society Applications
Robert N. Parker
Robert Nash Parker, co-director of the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies, University California, Riverside presented a workshop on GIS, Analytical Mapping, and Spatial Modeling: Crime, Law and Society Applications. The workshop provides an introduction to the art and science of GIS, software for creating geo-spatial data bases, maps, and estimating spatially appropriate models.
Workshop materials: PowerPoint Lecture GIS Workshop Examples Instructions 2008-09
Using Atlas.ti for Qualitative Research
Yuki Kato, Danielle S. Rudes
Description: In Using Atlas.ti for Qualitative Research, Yuki Kato, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Tulane University and Danielle S. Rudes, Assistant Professor of Administration of Justice and Sociology at George Mason University, introduce participants to the software and answer some common questions beginning users confront. The afternoon (not on video) involved some hands-on practice with basic feature of Atlas.ti. Workshop materials: Guidebook to Atlas.ti, Powerpoint lecture, Powerpoint, part II. For more information, visit the Atlas.ti website at http://www.atlasti.com.
The Art and Science of Interviewing
Description: The Art and Science of Interviewing, was led by Kristin Luker, Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, U.C. Berkeley. The “long”, “unstructured,” “semi-structured,” “intensive” interview has a long and honorable history in the social sciences, but it is usually taught by apprenticeship rather than by scholarly attention. This workshop draws on new discoveries in cognitive science to discuss the planning, shaping and administering of this kind of interview, and provides helpful suggestions about analysis.
An Introduction to Survey Research
Description: Tom Piazza from UC Berkeley’s Survey Research Center provided An Introduction to Survey Research. After reviewing the steps involved in conducting surveys, he discusses the sampling process in more detail and the design of questionnaires. Workshop materials: Overview of the Survey Process, Introduction to Survey Sampling, General Comments on Questionnaire Design, Retrospective Surveys – Problems and Solutions, The Steps of Survey Research – Procedures and Potential Errors, Short Bibliography on Survey Research
Description: In Historical-Comparative Methods, Robin Stryker, then Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, provides an introduction to systematic case-oriented narrative and comparative methods for socio-legal research. Workshop materials: Bibliography, Powerpoint Lecture, Historical-Comparative Methods
Description: Calvin Morrill, then Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine, presented the first workshop in the series, on Systematic Qualitative Fieldwork. The general aim of this workshop is to broaden and sharpen participants’ methodological imaginations and skills using techniques generally used to generate and analyze data that are not normally tapped by or amenable to survey research, demographic techniques, or experimental procedures, but which can be used, with appropriate sensitivities, in conjunction with these methods. Drawing on examples from ethnographies of disputing in corporations, legal consciousness and conflict in schools and urban settings, Morrill illustrates how to systematically approach ethnographic data collection, data analysis, and writing. Workshop Materials: Slides at Seminar in the Practice of Qualitative Fieldwork – Part I and Seminar in the Practice of Qualitative Fieldwork – Part II; Ethnographic and Qualitative Field Methods course syllabus, co-taught with David Snow at UCIrvine, available here.