The LLT Research Laboratory is empirical in its orientation, and its logic-based methodology makes it possible to scale up resources, take a team approach to research, and conduct comparative research. The paradigm for the laboratory is the science research laboratory found in both the U.S. and Europe. For example, we have criteria for developing a study sample in a particular target area, we strive for reliable and valid measurements of logical structure, we search our data for useful, recurring patterns of reasoning, and we try to systematically improve our research methods. To read more …

When the Lab investigates a particular area of the law (e.g., compensation decisions under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“VICP”) in the United States), we begin by modeling the logical structure of the legal rules that govern the program – creating a “rule tree.” To view the logic diagram for the VICP statute …

LogicDiagramVaccineAct2009

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Modeling the legal rules is only the beginning, however. To help improve the accuracy and efficiency of legal decision processes, we also model the reasoning of factfinders in reaching their decisions – that is, we model the evidence assessment in particular decisions (the documented reasoning from the evidence in the record to the findings of fact).   To read more …

This empirical methodology is the means of achieving our strategic goal – using advances in logic and technology to conduct impact research in targeted areas of the law, creating useful products to make legal decision-making more accurate and more efficient, and integrating those research activities with the educational mission of the law school.