2023 Conference on Empirical Legal Studies

October 13-14, 2023

David Rubenstein Forum
1201 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637

The University of Chicago Law School and the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (SELS) are pleased to host the 17th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies (CELS). CELS is an interdisciplinary gathering that draws researchers from across the United States and the world, bringing together scholars in law, economics, political science, psychology, and other fields who are interested in the empirical analysis of law and legal institutions.


Each panel is scheduled for two hours for three papers. Presentations proceed in the order listed on the program. Moderators should keep their panels strictly on schedule. This will allow attendees to switch rooms during concurrent sessions. Each paper is allotted 40 minutes: 18 minutes for the author’s presentation, 8 minutes for the discussant comments, and 14 minutes for Q&A. The last presenter in each session is the moderator, meaning they are responsible for giving time cues to the other presenters. Time cards will be available in each room.

CELS 2023 has a limited set of funds available to support students and other scholars who face financial hardship in attending. Please follow the links below to apply. If you are applying for a registration fee waiver, do not register until you have received instructions on how to proceed. Fee waivers will not be applied retroactively.

  • Registration Fee Waiver Request (this form is now closed as all registration fee waivers have been allocated)
  • Travel Assistance Request (this form is now closed as all available travel assistance funds have been allocated)

There have been major recent advances in Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Research using ML and AI has already begun to swipe across the social sciences, and they have already been incorporated into research on empirical legal studies. At the CELS conference, we will host a workshop the day before the main CELS conference, on Thursday, October 12, that will provide a primer on how ML and AI can be used for research. On the morning of Friday, October 13, there will be a plenary session discussing potential ways these methods can be used to research questions related to empirical legal studies. Confirmed presenters currently include Elliott Ash, Daniel Chen, Talia Gillis, Michael Livermore, and Julian Nyarko.

Approximate workshop start and end times are:

  • Lunch: 12:00 p.m., CT, Thursday, October 12, 2023.
  • Workshop: 1:00 - 6:00 p.m., CT, Thursday, October 12, 2023.