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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article attempts at a close appraisal of legal research, dating back to the pre-war times. It begins by discussing the burst of research in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s as well as the dash of such research prior to 1920. Following this, it considers the funding dilemmas that confronted the undertaking of this research, why the research was found almost exclusively in the United States, and the methodologies employed for this research. It discusses a variety of themes found in the early empirical legal research with a particular focus on projects and findings that presage debates and concerns in contemporary empirical legal research. Finally, it concludes with a discussion of why empirical work seemed to fade out in the late 1930s and what lead to its revival in the 1950s.

Keywords: legal research, methodologies, contemporary empirical legal research, appraisal of legal research, findings

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