Maturing into Normal Science: The Effect of Empirical Legal Studies on Law and Economics

Empirical legal studies (ELS), according to this Article, is the maturation of law and economics (L&E) into the long-awaited science of law. The main sociological consequence will be the grad-ual spread of ELS and L&E into the nonelite law schools. This process can only go so far because science concerns law’s effects, whereas teaching at nonelite law schools concerns law’s content. To learn law’s content, pass the bar exam, and practice law, students need an intuitive under-standing of law’s effects. To move to the center of law teaching and practice, the next task of ELS is to make the correct interpretation of law depend significantly on its scientific consequences, not merely its intuitive consequences.

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