Journal Published Online: 01 May 2003
Volume 48, Issue 3

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 ed- ucation. At that point, social data gathered through empirical means and the methods of analyzing it had no part in legal educa- tion. 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' cur- riculum. 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, le- gal education was largely cut off from mainstream intellectual de- velopment in American universities. Holmes' prediction was largely wrong. The nineteenth-century

Author Information

Dow, SB
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
DeJong, C
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
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Stock #: JFS483030698
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS483030698