New Legal Realism: Empirical Law and Society



News and Events




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: Mertz on Studying Social Science Ethics

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

News and Events

Call for abstracts: "Using Applied Social Science Methodologies to Conserve the Historic Environment: Can Evidence Change Practice?"
Deadline for submissions: September 28, 2015.
Organization: Historic Environment Knowledge Network, Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
This day-long conference intensive at the Environmental Design Research Associationís annual conference (EDRA47) will address the question of how critical heritage studies theory can and should change the practice of the conservation of the historic environment (built heritage and cultural landscapes). Perspectives on how the regulatory environment can/should be changed to accommodate more diverse cultural perspectives and practices are especially welcome from the perspective of new legal realism. Accepted presenters will be invited to submit a full paper; selected papers will then be published in an edited volume. For more info, see:

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.

To get up to date news on New Legal Realism, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

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

Resources and Links