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Empirical Research Support

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Getting Started with Empirical Legal Research (ELS) at UNC

The library has  collected a detailed set of resources that are available online for those interested in engaging in empirical legal scholarship. UNC Libraries maintains a number of tutorials, guides, and resource lists for conducting empirical research generally. These include:

  • Odum Institute at UNC provides assistance with specialized and general statistical models, as well as short and long courses on software and statistical methods.
  • Writing with Statistics is a useful guide, put together by UNC, on addressing pitfalls associated with using statistics in writing.
  • UNC Libraries GIS and Data Services provides spatial and numerical data. To facilitate the use of these collections, GIS/Data Services will provide classroom training, support online learning, and provide access to GIS computing.
Please also reach out to your law library liaison or Head of Reference Services Nicole Downing if you would like to discuss an empirical research project.

ELS Research Support and Research Guides

Data Sources for Empirical Legal Scholarship

Several of the above guides have more comprehensive lists of ELS-relevant data sets. Below is a listing of some of the most commonly used ELS data sets in the areas of Courts, Crime & Justice, the Legislative Branch & Politics, Business and Economics, Demographic, and International data sets.


Crime & Justice

Legislative Branch and Politics

Business and Economics Data



Last updated 1/26/2021

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