The why and how to of conducting a socio-legal empirical research project

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter sets out to explain why one may wish to interrogate a research question via socio-legal means, and to provide a structured way to go about such a project. It aims to be a starting guide to those less clear about socio-legal empirical projects rather than to be a comprehensive account of how to complete socio-legal research. It is the template that I use for research design and is just one perspective that those new to socio-legal research may wish to consider; there are a whole array of creative and individual approaches that one could chose to follow, many of which are set out in subsequent chapters. I have approached writing this chapter in this way as I am regularly contacted by nascent doctoral researchers and those new to this type of research who are keen to pursue socio-legal empirical methods but are unsure how and where to begin. I am also, less frequently, asked for advice by doctoral supervisors who are finding it a challenge to explain to their supervisees how to conduct this type of research. Much of what I say is, thus, a broad-brush encounter with the stages of a socio-legal research project and not a prescription of how it must be done. Projects are as diverse in approach and method as they are in substance. This is just one way of conceiving of a project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Socio-Legal Theory and Methods
EditorsNaomi Creutzfeldt, Marc Mason, Kirsten McConnachie
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429952814
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'The why and how to of conducting a socio-legal empirical research project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this