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Empirical Legal Studies


ELS@Leiden organises lab meetings and other activities throughout the year. Find out what ELS can do for you in helping you develop your empirical-legal research skills.

ELS Lab Meetings

Our lab meetings are organised almost every month for researchers interested in empirical legal research. Ranging from the informal Lunch & Learn to more in-depth paper discussions, the ELS lab meetings cover a wide range of empirical research methods and ELS-related topics. We offer a possibility to learn about each other’s research and experience, test out ideas and receive feedback on work in progress. You’re welcome to join, regardless of your degree of experience with ELS.

Interested to join? Sign up via this form. You can find our upcoming sessions in the column on the right. If you are interested in presenting your own work or have a good idea for one of our lab meetings, please contact Kimia Heidary via k.heidary@law.leidenuniv.nl of Sarah Vandenbroucke via s.e.m.vandenbroucke@law.leidenuniv.nl

Work in Progress Sessions involve presentations of work in progress. This can be at any stage of the research process, from the design to writing the actual paper. It is in particular a nice opportunity to receive feedback on empirical ideas and get suggestions on how to improve the methodology.


Journal Clubs are sessions in which we discuss empirical legal articles, focusing on the methodology used in the paper and the lessons that can be learned.

Lunch & Learns are informal, interactive sessions where we discuss a controversial statement relating to an ELS-themed topic. It is an opportunity to share your opinion and experiences with regard to doing empirical legal research and to learn from peers.

ELS Atelier

Craft your own empirical research in workshops of the ELS Atelier! Are you curious about empirically studying a legal question and willing to give it a try, but simply wouldn’t know where to start? Or do you already have some experience with empirical research, but would need further assistance to bring a project to completion? Then we are here to help you out!

The ELS Atelier is a place where, in small groups, you will actively work your way through the empirical cycle, irrespective of the stage you are in. In February 2022, three groups enthusiastically started crafting their very own empirical legal research. The participants take part in parallel workshop trajectories focused on a particular empirical method. In these workshops, colleagues actively work their way through the empirical cycle, whilst being guided by an expert and peers. Jessie Pool guides the interview group, Helen Pluut the survey group and Niek Strohmaier the experiment group. More than 40 colleagues participated in our kick-off session. Since then, several small-scale sessions took place in the various workshop trajectories.

Are you interested to learn more about or participate in our ELS Atelier? Please feel free to reach out to Jessie Pool

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