Skip to main content

Learning from Evidence

Current Offerings

Learning from Evidence (7520): Many legal and policy debates rest on central claims that are either true or false. Does hiring more police officers reduce crime? Does increasing the minimum wage lead to reduced employment? Do risk assessment tools help judges identify defendants with a high recidivism risk? Most of these questions have been studied extensively, but the findings are often conflicting, making it difficult to identify effective solutions to pressing, societal problems. This course is designed to help students evaluate empirical research findings and to distinguish studies that are credible from those that are less credible. We will spend a significant amount of time understanding the markers of strong research designs and how to communicate findings transparently and effectively. The course focuses exclusively on the concepts underlying (social) scientific research, not their inner machinations. Among others, this means that mathematical / statistical training is neither required nor acquired during the course. Everything we will cover will be based on plain language and intuitive, visual aids like figures and charts. Still, those with extensive technical training will sometimes have spent significant time thinking through difficult concepts like causality. To avoid the impact of potential discrepancies in student preparedness, the course is graded as a mandatory pass-fail course. Elements used in grading: Attendance, class participation, written assignments.

Sections

Learning from Evidence | LAW 7520 Section 01 Class #1131

  • 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Mandatory P/R/F
    • 1L: Winter Elective (Open to First-Year JD Students)
  • Course Category:
    • Law and Social Sciences

  • 2023-2024 Winter ( )
  • Tue, Thu
  • Room: LAW 95

Past Offerings

Learning from Evidence (7520): Many legal and policy debates rest on central claims that are either true or false. Does hiring more police officers reduce crime? Does increasing the minimum wage lead to reduced employment? Do risk assessment tools help judges identify defendants with a high recidivism risk? Most of these questions have been studied extensively, but the findings are often conflicting, making it difficult to identify effective solutions to pressing, societal problems. This course is designed to help students evaluate empirical research findings and to distinguish studies that are credible from those that are less credible. We will spend a significant amount of time understanding the markers of strong research designs and how to communicate findings transparently and effectively. The course focuses exclusively on the concepts underlying (social) scientific research, not their inner machinations. Among others, this means that mathematical / statistical training is neither required nor acquired during the course. Everything we will cover will be based on plain language and intuitive, visual aids like figures and charts. Still, those with extensive technical training will sometimes have spent significant time thinking through difficult concepts like causality. To avoid the impact of potential discrepancies in student preparedness, the course is graded as a mandatory pass-fail course. Elements used in grading: Attendance, class participation, written assignments.

Sections

Learning from Evidence | LAW 7520 Section 01 Class #1148

  • 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Mandatory P/R/F
  • 2022-2023 Winter
    Schedule No Longer Available
    • 1L: Winter Elective (Open to First-Year JD Students)
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO7 - Professional Skills
  • Course Category:
    • Law and Social Sciences

  • 2022-2023 Winter
    Schedule No Longer Available
Back to the Top