A Case Study On Access to Justice and How to Improve It
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Type of Work42 pages
Citation of Original PublicationCotton, M. (2014). case study on access to justice and how to improve it. Journal of Law in Society 16(1), 61-102.
Subjectsimpact of law
social science methods
legal policy development and reform
The "new legal realists" have been advocating for expansion in the scope and methods of empirical work in legal scholarship. For example, Howard Erlanger et al. have argued that we ought to be more concerned with "the impact of law on ordinary people's lives" and therefore should "include in our toolkit some of the social science methods best suited for this task," including "the qualitative methods developed by fields like anthropology and history for examining everyday experience. ' 2 Similarly, Victoria Nourse and Gregory Shaffer have called for "an empiricism that adopts anthropological and sociological approaches, in which academics leave their universities and investigate the world,' 3 with the goal of studying "the law in action.' 4 Implicit in these descriptions is the idea that the mostly quantitative approaches that have been employed by empirical researchers in studying the law are not providing a complete understanding-especially of the law as ordinary people experience it-and thus are not contributing enough to legal policy development and reform.