Legal v. Empirical Analysis

Legal analysis places a premium on argumentation and appeals to authority, is frequently geared toward proving a particular view, is often focused on the particulars of an individual case, and is directed at reaching a definitive conclusion. In contrast, empirical analysis places a premium on observation, challenges assumptions, is oriented toward the testing of hypotheses, is usually focused on describing patterns that operate in the aggregate, and is a continuing enterprise in which new work builds on that which came before and generates even more questions and further investigation.

Lawless, Robbennolt & Ulen, Empirical Methods in Law (Aspen Publishers 2010), 10.

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