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Perhaps more than in any other field, legal scholarship has aimed directly at influencing public policy. Hence, it is not surprising that empirical scholarship on law related issues often seems to have an agenda that extends beyond the common social science goals of adding to our knowledge base and understanding of human behavior to suggesting to policy makers and practitioners legal and administrative changes that will ameliorate problems they confront and, by the researcher’s lights, make this a better world in which to live.


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Lempert, Richard O. "Empirical Research for Public Policy: With Examples from Family Law." Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 5, no. 4 (2008): 907-926, which has been published in final form at . This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.