BELS Conferences & Workshops




Berkeley Law and CSLS foster empirical research on law not only through the BELS website, but also by organizing Conferences and Workshops.


Berkeley Law Centers may submit Conferences and Workshops for posting on the BELS Website by contacting Rosann Greenspan at





Friday, April 24, 2009          8:00am-7:00pm            Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley

Empirical Legal Studies is often associated with sophisticated quantitative work and less often associated with theory.  The Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley is holding a one-day conference to highlight and to foster discussion about the ways in which empirical legal studies (both quantitative and qualitative) can be used to generate, test, and elaborate socio-legal theory.  Speakers from both the legal academy and the social sciences will present ongoing theoretically-informed empirical work and discussants, as well as the audience, will be invited to engage in a productive dialog about the intersection of empirical legal studies and law and social science theory. We also hope to foster connections across disciplines and among scholars in this area that will continue long after this initial conference. The conference will feature a Keynote Address by Richard Lempert, Stein Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Law and Sociology at the University of Michigan and former director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division at the National Science Foundation. The presentations are organized into three panels: Litigation, Complaint Mobilization, and Inequality; Law and Organizations; and Judicial and Agency Politics. 

For further information about the Conference, including the full program, abstracts of the papers, and bios of the presenters, go to Conference on Building Theory Through Empirical Legal Studies.




In Fall 2007, CSLS launched a new series of methodology seminars presenting aspects of empirical research methods by and for legal and sociolegal scholars.  Each year a number of special workshops are presented (most are 3 hours in length) covering selected empirical methods, both quantitative and qualitative.  The series brings in leading experts on particular methodologies, including some of our own faculty.  Berkeley Law faculty & Center researchers, PhD students, CSLS affiliated faculty and CSLS visiting scholars are all invited participate. 

The workshops take place in the JSP Seminar Room, generally from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, followed by a catered lunch.

To go to the webpage of any of the workshops in the Miniseries on Empirical Research Methods, click on the seminar title below. For each completed workshop, you will find a seminar description, the complete videotape of each 3-hour seminar; handouts; powerpoint slides; bibliographies; and other course materials.  For those yet to come, you will find at least a brief course description (as materials for upcoming workshops are received they are posted to the webpage).

2007-2008 Miniseries on Empirical Research Methods

The first seminar in the Miniseries was a Workshop in Systematic Qualitative Fieldwork led by Calvin Morrill of UC Irvine on Tuesday, September 18, 2007.

The second seminar was a Workshop in Historical-Comparative Methods led by Robin Stryker of the University of Minnesota, on Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

The third was an Introduction to Survey Research led by Tom Piazza of U.C. Berkeley’s Survey Research Center, on Thursday, February 21, 2008.

The final seminar for 2007-2008 was The Art and Science of Interviewing, led by Kristin Luker, Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, U.C. Berkeley, on Thursday, April 10, 2008.

2008-2009 Miniseries on Empirical Research Methods

There have been two workshops thus far in 2008-2009, with one more upcoming: 

The first workshop was Using Atlas.ti for Qualitative Research, led by Yuki Kato of Tulane University and Danielle S. Rudes of George Mason University, on Friday, October 17, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, in the JSP Seminar Room, with an optional hands-on session in the afternoon.

The second workshop was GIS, Analytical Mapping, and Spatial Modeling: Crime, Law and Society Applications, led by Robert N. Parker of the University California, Riverside and the Presley Center for Research in Criminal Justice, on Friday, January 30, 2009.

The third workshop will be How to Design Research to Evaluate Programs, led by Justin McCrary of the University California, Berkeley, on Friday, April 3, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, in the JSP Seminar Room.

Looking Forward to 2009-2010

We are working on next year’s program, which we hope will include:

How to Prepare a Grant Proposal for Empirical Research, led by Lauren Edelman of the University of California, Berkeley


Doing Story Research In Socio-Legal Studies, led by Michael Musheno of San Francisco State University and Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society.