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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.


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

Robert L. Nelson, Rachel F. Moran
To learn more about our Future of Latinos project, please visit: futureoflatinos.org "The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility" has three goals: 1) To advance…

New Legal Realism

Elizabeth Mertz
The New Legal Realism (NLR) Project's goal is to develop rigorous, genuinely interdisciplinary approaches to the empirical study of law. Initially sponsored by the American Bar Foundation and the…

The VAT Laggard: A Comparative History of U.S. Resistance to the Value-added Tax

Ajay K. Mehrotra
This project explores how and why the United States has historically rejected national consumption taxes. Because nearly all developed countries, and many in the developing world, have a national…

After the JD

Bryant G. Garth, Robert L. Nelson, Ronit Dinovitzer, Gabriele Plickert, Joyce Sterling
The After the JD (AJD) project is the first and most ambitious effort to gather systematic, detailed data about the careers and experiences of a national cross-section of law graduates. It follows a…

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Research Projects

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

Browse our research projects »

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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