About the Center

The Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession (CERLP) is committed to empirical research and public engagement on issues relating to the legal profession. Building on the strengths of UCI Law faculty, the center plays an important role in connecting the law school, UC Irvine, and local, regional, national and global communities of lawyers and scholars interested in the future of the legal profession.

CERLP is a leading center of empirical research on the legal profession nationally, and the only such center in the Western U.S. In addition to its own research agenda, CERLP organizes presentations, conferences and other events to engage and inform a wider public.

Among its initial activities, the Center hosted a Spring 2017 symposium highlighting the state of empirical research on legal education. This conference explored topics such as law school debt and the return on investment in legal education; demand for law school admission generally, and among the “best and brightest” undergraduates; the LSSSE survey on legal education and the law student experience; the latest findings from the ADJ research on lawyers’ careers; and the use of empirical research on the legal profession in law school courses.

Another conference in September 2017 discussed globalization, legal education, and transnational legal communities, in conjunction with UCI Law’s Center on Globalization, Law, and Society (GLAS).

In March 2019, the Center hosted a symposium on the Roles of Lawyers in Constitutional Change. In October 2018, it held a conference on the After the JD project — an ambitious longitudinal study of lawyers’ careers.

In addition to hosting conferences, CERLP sponsors speakers and other events throughout the year, and focuses attention on UCI Law’s own research on lawyers, legal education, and globalization, as well as related work of faculty across the UCI campus.

More broadly, CERLP is committed to studying the development of the legal profession within Orange County, and building alliances with local practitioners and firms.