New Legal Realism: Empirical Law and Society



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Seeking to develop a rigorous, genuinely interdisciplinary approach to the empirical study of law.

NLR Conversations

Follow our group of New Legal Realists who post on everything from law to the latest in jazz. Visit our blog to refresh your understanding of law-and-society research, empirical perspectives on law, and realism old and new.
Current Topic: Galanter on Karl, Soia, and U of C's Realist Tradition

From law on the books to law in action From law on the books to law in action

News and Events

2016 Law & Social Inquiry Graduate Student Paper Competition
LSI invites submssions from graduate or law students for its annual competition for the best journal-length paper in the field of sociolegal studies. Submissions will be accepted from January 1- March 1, 2016. The winning paper will receive a cash prize and publication in Law & Social Inquiry. For more information on the submission guidelines, please click here.

Fourth Annual Qualitative and Mixed- Methods Workshop at AALS
The Association of American Law Schools hosted a two-day workshop on qualitative and mixed methods at their 110th Annual Meeting in New York City on January 9 and 10, 2016. For more information about the conference, please click here.

2016 Osgoode Hall Graduate Law Student Conference
The 2016 Osgoode Hall Graduate Law Student Conference will take place this year in Toronto on Feb 18-19, 2016. The theme of this year's conference is "Exploring Law and Change through Interdisciplinary Research, New Legal Realism and Other Perspectives- Choose Your Own Adventure." Where law engages with social issues and interactions, many legal scholars have begun to apply knowledge from outside the disciplinary boundaries of law. From this interdisciplinary perspective, the conference will consider the myriad ways in which law facilitates, obstructs, and reacts to change. For more information about the conference, click here

New Legal Realism 10th Anniversary Conference
Scholars gathered at the University of California, Irvine on August 29-30, 2014 for the New Legal Realism 10th Anniversary Conference. The theme of the meeting was "Future Directions for Legal Empiricism." See the program for more information about the conference panels and speakers. Click here for pictures from the event.

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About NLR

The New Legal Realism Project (NLR) promotes rigorous and genuinely interdisciplinary scholarship on law in action, building from the law-and-society tradition. Law professors and lawyers often turn to social science research for help in resolving legal problems, but they usually do so without much social science training or expertise. On the other hand, social scientists who study legal issues can fail to appreciate the distinctive requirements of law and policy, resulting in failed attempts to apply social science to "real world" problems. NLR focuses on developing better, more sophisticated translations between law and social science. This is especially important as law increasingly turns to social science for guidance in dealing with crucial legal and policy issues. Sloppy or inaccurate interdisciplinary translation on these issues can have serious social effects.

NLR FAQ: How do I join NLR?

Answer: Like the "old" legal realism, the New Legal Realism is open to all who wish to participate. Our conversations take place in journals and books and working papers, at conferences and colloquia freely organized by interested scholars. We welcome news on New Legal Realism projects. Email us at

Reading Corner

Featured Topic: Vulnerability Theory

Disciplinary Updates

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