Volume 48, Issue 3 (May 2003)
Review of Statistics for Lawyers, 2nd ed.
A little over a century ago Oliver Wendell Holmes, then a justice on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, opined that the lawyer of the future will be skilled in “statistics and the master of economics (1).” Holmes was commenting on the state of legal education. At that point, social data gathered through empirical means and the methods of analyzing it had no part in legal education. Economics, psychology, political science, sociology, and other social science disciplines played no part in legal education (2,3). Most of the faculty who had any interest in these fields and their methods had been purged from law schools (4). Simply put, the emerging social sciences had no part in the law students' curriculum. Needless to say, the methods and research tools of these emerging disciplines, such as statistics, likewise played no part in legal education. As a result, by the end of its formative period, legal education was largely cut off from mainstream intellectual development in American universities.