Please note: The application deadline has passed and we are unable to admit additional students.
In today’s data-driven world, empirical literacy is becoming increasingly important – including in law. Not only are data science skills highly sought-after by employers, but (big) data increasingly influences how the law is created, applied and evaluated. Already today, statistical analyses are being used to inform court judgments, to assess the impact of legislation, and to revolutionize legal research and practice. Given this ongoing ‘datafication of law’, it is crucial for future legal professionals to be able to understand, evaluate and critique the use of empirical methods in legal contexts.
This seminar aims to provide law students with a basic understanding of the empirical legal research process – from conceptualization, through data collection and analysis, to reporting. To learn how to apply this knowledge to their own research, students will work collaboratively in small groups to conceptualize and implement a small empirical legal research project using basic statistical methods in R. The seminar is designed for students who take part in the lecture Introduction to Empirical Legal Studies and/or the Online Course II in Legal Data Science. In addition, students with basic prior knowledge of statistics and R are also eligible. Students are expected to take active part in the discussions and to provide feedback on fellow participants’ presentations.
The course follows a hands-on, self-directed approach. Through a combination of in-class discussions and group work, students will learn how to formulate research questions, design research projects, collect and analyse data, and draw meaningful conclusions from their findings. At the successful completion of the course, students will:
Students should ideally have some prior knowledge of statistics and R. It is, however, sufficient if students participate, in parallel to the seminar, in the lecture Introduction to Empirical Legal Studies and/or in the Online Course II in Legal Data Science offered in the Fall 2023.
The seminar includes completion of a Bachelor thesis (6 ECTS) or Master thesis (12 ECTS). This is comprised of:
|21 April 2023, 16:00 – 18:00
|Preliminary info session
|29 September 2023, 16:00 – 18:00
|16 October 2023
|Submission deadline: Bachelor Thesis (Critical Review Paper)
|29 October 2023
|Submission deadline: Research Design of Group Projects
|31 October 2023, 09:00 – 17:00
|In-class discussion and work on Research Design of Group Projects
|5 December 2023
|Submission deadline: Project Report of Group Projects
|8 December 2023, 08:00 – 12:00
|Presentations of Group Projects
|8 December 2023, 12:00
|Submission deadline: Master Thesis (Individual Analysis)
The seminar will be held in person at the UZH City Campus (room details to follow). Attendance is mandatory for all sessions.
There are 20 seminar spots available, divided into 12 for Bachelor and 8 for Master students. For information on how to register, see https://www.ius.uzh.ch/de/studies/general/seminars.html.
All necessary materials, including data sets for the empirical projects and journal articles for the review paper, will be provided on the OLAT course page. Students are required to bring their own device with a working installation of R and RStudio.
For further information, contact Una Schamberger (email@example.com).