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LAW Guns, Drugs, Prisons, and Other Empirical Debates in Law and Policy

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LAW 740

Guns, Drugs, Prisons, and Other Empirical Debates in Law and Policy

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[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] Civil Rights/Liberties: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Public Policy : If your interest is policy or public interest work, particularly in the area of criminal law, this course should provide useful tools to support your advocacy efforts with judges and policymakers. It considers a variety of substantive issues with hotly contested empirical studies. The intention is to develop the student's ability to be a thoughtful consumer of empirical research and enable the student to be effective in empirical debates.

General course Description:

Empirical debates are often crucial to decisions by judges and policymakers. This course will focus on some of these debates with the goal of both informing students on the substantive issues and helping them to develop the ability to understand and evaluate empirical studies by reading major studies on the issues of guns, drugs, prisons and a variety of other hotly contested empirical issues in law and policy. Although we will be reading actual statistical/econometric studies, there is no pre-requisite for the class since it is not a hard-core quantitative empirical methods class, but rather is designed to develop the ability to be a thoughtful consumer of empirical research. The goal is to provide information that judges, litigators, policymakers, and informed citizens would find useful in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of empirical evidence. The final in-class exam will involve a critique of an actual empirical paper. One page comment papers will be written for each class. Depending on the size of the class, we may also have student presentations of certain papers.

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