Vanderbilt Law Review


Lee Epstein

First Page



While law professors are increasingly making use of data in their scholarship and while the data work housed in their studies is (generally) of a high quality, they have been less effective at communicating the products of their labor. A strong devotion to tabular, rather than graphical, displays, and claims about "statistical significance" rather than substantive importance, are just two areas requiring improvement.

Here, as in Part I, we attempt to adapt a burgeoning literature in the social and statistical sciences to the unique interests of legal scholars. Our proposals are many in number, but none is particularly difficult to implement. More to the point, we believe that law professors should want to implement them. If other fields are any indication, moving toward more appropriate and accessible presentations of data will heighten the impact of empirical legal scholarship regardless of the audience-no doubt a desirable goal in a discipline that rightfully prides itself on its contributions to forming legal and public policy.