Conference on Building Theory Through Empirical Legal Studies

Conference on Building Theory Through Empirical Legal Studies

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


About the Conference

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 that follow are organized into three panels: Litigation, Complaint Mobilization, and Inequality; Law and Organizations; and Judicial and Agency Politics.  The full program and abstracts of the papers that will be presented are available by clicking on the links in the bar above.

Conference Program

Continental Breakfast
8:00 – 8:45


Christopher Edley, Jr., Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law
Lauren Edelman, Director, Center for the Study of Law and Society

Session I:   Keynote Address

9:00 – 10:00

Richard Lempert, University of Michigan (Emeritus); Science and Technology Directorate, Dept. of Homeland Security
The Inevitability of Theory:  Get Used to It

Coffee Break
10:00 – 10:30

Session II: Litigation, Complaint Mobilization, and Inequality
10:30 – 12:00

John Hagan, Northwestern University (Chair/Discussant)

Calvin Morrill
, U.C. Irvine, Lauren Edelman, U.C. Berkeley, Karolyn Tyson, University of North Carolina, and Richard Arum, N.Y.U.
“Legal Mobilization in U.S. Schools: How Race Conditions Students’ Responses to Law and Rights.”

Sandra Levitsky, University of Michigan
“‘What Rights?’  The Construction of Political Claims to American Health Care Entitlements.”

Margo Schlanger, Washington University
“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Structural Reform of the American Workplace.”

Lunch Break
12:00 – 1:30

Session III:  Law and Organizations
1:30 – 3:00 

Mark Suchman, Brown University (Discussant/Moderator)

Alexandra Kalev, University of Arizona, and Tristin Green, Seton Hall
“Attending to Relations: Theory, Research and Legal Implications of a Relational Approach to Discrimination at Work.”

Lauren Edelman, U.C. Berkeley, Linda Krieger, U.C. Berkeley & University of Hawaii,
Scott Eliason, University of Arizona, Catherine R. Albiston, U.C. Berkeley, and
Virginia Mellema, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
“When Organizations Rule: Judicial Deference to Institutionalized Employment Structures.”

Yuval Feldman, Bar Ilan University, and Orly Lobel, University of San Diego,
“The Incentives Matrix: Experimental Studies of the Comparative Effectiveness of Regulatory Systems.”

Coffee Break
3:00 – 3:30

Session IV: Judicial and Agency Politics
3:30 – 5:00

Christopher Zorn, Pennsylvania State University (Discussant/Moderator)

Daniel Ho, Stanford University, Kevin Quinn, Harvard University, and Erica L. Ross, Stanford University,
“The Empirical Dimensions of the Standing Doctrine and Judicial Voting.”

Stephanie Lindquist, University of Texas, and Pamela Corley, Vanderbilt University
“The Strategies of Judicial Review.”

Anne Joseph O’Connell, U.C. Berkeley,
“Vacant Offices in the Administrative State: Delays in Filling Top Executive Agency Positions, 1977-2005.”

Closing Reception
5:00 – 7:00