Stata & Statistics Training in Style: The November CELS workshop at Berkeley Law School

The 9th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies
September 10, 2014

The 9th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies will be held at Boalt Hall in Berkeley, California on November 7-8, 2014. As in the past, CELS will showcase emerging studies and datasets and diverse research methodologies. Again, it will commence with a pre-conference workshop–on November 6th–on analyzing empirical data using Stata statistical software. The workshop is a fast-paced, inter-disciplinary immersion appropriate for scholars and students from a wide array of educational backgrounds (including no prior statistical training).

I attended the 2012 training, co-led by the late Ted Eisenberg, a founding director of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (SELS), and Michael Heise, who co-leads this year’s workshop with Martin Wells and Dawn Chutkow. That short course covered topics ranging from how to import data into Stata to tinkering with a regression via a logarithmic transformation (see Chart 2 for an example of a log). The examples used were “ripped from the headlines” of empirical legal studies journals. We dove into publicly available codebooks and datasets. The take-aways included: Stata experience and code, superb readings on Stata logic and syntax, and familiarity with the strengths and shortcomings of several important empirical legal studies datasets.

If you are an experienced Stata user and “quant-,” you’ll enjoy delving into the specific exercises and swapping code with folks eager to trouble-shoot. If you’re brand new to Stata or to statistics, you’ll leave with a better understanding of the operations that yield the tables in journals such as JELS, and with the research habits of leading ELS scholars.

Pre-registration for the workshop and conference are required. The cost for the workshop is $100. In addition to that, registration for the conference and an annual membership to SELS is $55 for students and $195 for non-students. More information about the workshop is available at: Conference information is available at:

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