Students at UCLA Law School can now study to become lawyers — and researchers.
The school has announced the launch of a set of empirical research courses offered under the same roof as its J.D. program. Dubbed the Empirical Legal Scholars Program is the result of a partnership the law school and RAND Corporation struck in 2007 and made formal last month.
Professor Joseph Doherty tells us law students across the nation have gone too long without formal course work in scholarly research. To satisfy their research cravings, students at many schools have had to combine their J.D. studies with a masters in public policy or a PhD program at their universities, or seek out one member of the law faculty to work closely with.
“Students had to pick up the skills as they went along,” Doherty said. “I’d work with five to 10 students individually on projects which they’d do for somebody else.”
Now it will be at their fingertips. The second-year course will include research methods, statistics and data analysis and a seminar in which students conduct original research. All at the law school.
Doherty, who heads the law school’s Empirical Research Group and has been quoted in media on various studies of his own, will be teaching the courses. He’ll also bring in guest lecturers from RAND and the law school and arranging mentorships with law faculty. At the end of the program, each student will have a paper to publish or discuss at a conference.
Petra is a Cal Law reporter.