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Research

The American Bar Foundation’s mission is to serve the legal profession, the public, and the academy through empirical research, publications, and programs that advance justice and the understanding of law and its impact on society. Primary funding for the ABF is provided by the American Bar Endowment.

The Foundation is committed to broad dissemination of research findings to the organized bar, scholars, and the general public. The results are published in a wide range of forums, including leading academic journals, law reviews, and academic and commercial presses.

Our research program is implemented through the projects designed and conducted by the resident research faculty. A research project is undertaken only after completion of a very extensive review process, including review by the external review body, The Wheeler Committee, and by the ABF Board of Directors.


Criminal Defense in China

Terence Halliday, Sida Liu, University of Wisconsin, Department of Sociology and School of Law
Terence Halliday and Sida Liu are completing a National Science Foundation funded research program that studies the development of criminal procedure law and practice in China. The research has…

Parental Incarceration

John Hagan, Holly Foster
This study is designed to better understand the difference that parental incarceration makes in the life of an adolescent. American incarceration is four times larger than in the 1970s, six to ten…

Research Group on Legal Diversity

Robert L. Nelson, Ronit Dinovitzer
The American Bar Foundation is committed to expanding equity and opportunity within the legal profession and in society at large. It pursues this goal in the selection of its leadership, the hiring…

The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility

Robert L. Nelson, Rachel F. Moran
To learn more about the "The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility," please visit the official website (futureoflatinos.org): The ABF research project, "The Future…

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Research Projects

  • Civil justice
  • Criminal justice
  • Law and globalization
  • Legal history
  • Legal profession
  • Regulation
  • Social justice

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Access to Justice

Through a series of innovative empirical research projects, Access to Justice investigates Americans’ experiences with their civil justice problems and the institutions of remedy that exist to serve them. The goal is to produce new knowledge essential for policy makers and service providers as they seek to respond to the legal needs of the public today.

More about Access to Justice »

The Research Group on Legal Diversity

The American Bar Foundation is committed to expanding equity and opportunity within the legal profession and in society at large. The ABF’s Research Group on Legal Diversity lays the groundwork for a larger research program that we will undertake to further our committment to diversity.

More about the Research Group on Legal Diversity  »

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