Law and Statistics at SMU

Law and Statistics at SMU

Local, Regional, or National Data Sets/Databases:

Westlaw

 (SMU Subscription)

The United States Primary Law Library covers the entire body of federal case law, statutes and regulations, as well as every state’s case law, statutes and other state-specific jurisdictional materials. With access to this information in one online environment, you can bring the laws into sharper focus.

Lexis Nexis

(SMU Subscription)

Through the integration of information and technology, LexisNexis uniquely unites proprietary brands, advanced Web technologies and premium information sources. Across the globe, LexisNexis provides customers with access to billions of searchable documents and records from more than 45,000 legal, news and business sources.

Bloomberg Law

(SMU Subscription)

Providing access to legal content and analysis, practice tools, company information and market intelligence, Bloomberg Law® is the complete solution that leverages innovative technology to support the way you work.

Pacer

(SMU Subscription Limited via Bloomberg Law)

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information online from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator. PACER is provided by the Federal Judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to court information via a centralized service.

ProQuest Statistical Insights

(SMU Subscription)

Statistical abstracts and indexes for Federal, state and private sector sources in the U.S. Full text from 2004 (Federal) and 2007 (state and private sector). Abstracts and indexes for key statistical titles from international intergovernmental organizations dating from 1983. Full text from 2007.

Data-Planet Statistical Datasets

(Consider for SMU Subscription)

Data-Planet Statistical Datasets provides easy access to an extensive repository of standardized and structured statistical data. The Data-Planet repository contains more than 25 billion data points from more than 70 source organizations. The over 4.3 billion datasets in Data-Planet provide immediate access to data presented in charts, maps, graphs, and table form, via multiple points of entry. There are law-related datasets (e.g., Criminal Justice and Enforcement)

Data.gov

(Free)

The first version of Data.gov was recently launched to improve access to datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. Initially the site will include federal Executive Branch data, but the long term objective is to increase the number of datasets available through active public participation in making requests.  The site includes descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), instructions on accessing datasets, tools for leveraging datasets, and several downloadable datasets themselves.  The public can use the datasets to “build applications, conduct analysis, and perform research.”

Specific links:

Supreme Court Database

(Free)

The Supreme Court Database is the definitive source for researchers, students, journalists, and citizens interested in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Database contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1946 and 2014 terms. Examples include the identity of the court whose decision the Supreme Court reviewed, the parties to the suit, the legal provisions considered in the case, and the votes of the Justices. (Case-centered and Justice-centered datasets)

Supreme Court Database at University of South Carolina

(Free)

The distinctive feature of each Supreme Court database is its vote data. This differentiates one dataset from the others. The common feature of all the databases is the inclusion of five sets of variables that bear on the vote and opinion data that the specific dataset contains: identification, background, chronological, substantive, and outcome.

Appeals Court Database at University of South Carolina

(Free)

The Appeals Courts Database Project was designed to create an extensive dataset to facilitate the empirical analysis of the votes of judges and the decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals. In order to increase its utility for a wide variety of potential users, data on a broad range of variables of theoretical significance to public law scholars were coded. A major concern of the Board of Overseers appointed to advise Donald R. Songer (PI) was to insure the collection of data over a sufficiently long period of time to encourage significant longitudinal studies of trends over time in the courts. The paucity of such studies in the past was identified as one of the major weakness of recent scholarship. Thus, the database was designed to code a random sample of cases since 1925.

U.S. Federal Courts

(Free)

Detailed statistical tables address the work of the U.S. courts of appeals, district courts and bankruptcy courts, as well as the federal probation and pretrial services system. The Judicial Caseload Indicators table compares data for the current 12-month period to that for the same period 1, 5, and 10 years earlier.

Types of data: e.g., types of cases filed, numbers of dispositions, length of dispositions; average cost per wiretap order; wiretap-types of surveillance used, arrests, and convictions for intercepts installed; interviews and types of pretrial services reports (criminal); info on grand and petit jurors (including % selected; % challenged).

Court Statistics Project

(Free)

The Court Statistics Project (CSP) — a joint project of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) — publishes caseload data from the courts of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These data are provided by the offices of the state court administrator in those jurisdictions. The data reported here conform to the definitions and case counting rules in the State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting (Guide).  States publish their own data that may be more extensive, although not directly comparable to other states for a variety of reasons, including differences in court structure, case definitions and counting practices, court rules, statutes, or terminology.  The experience of the CSP staff, along with adherence to the Guide's reporting framework, ensures comparability of the data reported to CSP

Some of these data are analyzed by NCSC and BJS ( http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=30 )

TracFed

(Partly free but some features are Considered for SMU Subscription)

TRAC Public Web Site (F). Since 1996, TRAC has mounted and updated a series of specialized sites on the World Wide Web with highly detailed but easy-to-access information on selected federal enforcement agencies, special topical reports, and "bulletins" about federal enforcement, staffing and expenditures. The sites — featuring colorful maps and graphs and tens of thousands of pages of tables and other supporting material — are available without charge to anyone with access to the web. Currently featured are separate TRAC Web sites describing the enforcement activities and staffing patterns of the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Another area, TRAC-Reports (C), features TRAC's most recent reports, access to the archives, and bulletins detailing the most recent data updates. From here, for a minimal charge, it is possible to access detailed data and reports formerly available to subscribers only. 

And still another area, TRAC-Immigration, deals in-depth with how our nation's immigration laws are enforced in administrative and criminal courts by a wide variety of agencies. Reports include records of individual judges. A reference library containing government immigration studies and a glossary are also maintained.

Police Data Initiative (Dallas, Austin and other localities)

(Free)

All 21 police departments have committed to release a combined total of 101 data sets that have not been released to the public. The types of data include uses of force, police pedestrian and vehicle stops, officer involved shootings and more, helping the communities gain visibility into key information on police/citizen encounters.

To make police open data easy to find and use, the Police Foundation and ESRI are building a public safety open data portal to serve, in part, as a central clearinghouse option for police open data, making it easily accessible to law enforcement agencies, community groups and researchers.

The Department of Justice and the Police Data Initiative stakeholders will work with universities and other research partners to identify opportunities to coordinate body worn camera research to help avoid unintended overlap, maximize the coverage of research topics and increase cross-learning. Additionally, the Police Data Initiative will work with cutting-edge leaders in advanced video analysis to identify opportunities to help police departments maximize the value of the thousands of hours of video body worn cameras will produce.

Measures for Justice

(Free)

Measures for Justice gathers criminal justice data at the county level and uses them to populate performance Measures that address Public Safety, Fair Process and Fiscal Responsibility. The Measures track how criminal cases are being handled at the county level from arrest to post-conviction. They are designed to increase the transparency of local justice systems and enable more informed discussions.

BJS Data Collections

(Free)

Data are published annually on:

  • Criminal victimization
  • Populations under correctional supervision
  • Federal criminal offenders and case processing

Periodic data series include:

  • Administration of law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities
  • Prosecutorial practices and policies
  • State court case processing
  • Felony convictions
  • Characteristics of correctional populations
  • Criminal justice expenditure and employment
  • Civil case processing in State courts
  • Special studies on other criminal justice topics

BJS Arrest Data Analysis Tool,  http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=datool&surl=/arrests/index.cfm

Vital Statistics on American Politics

(SMU Subscription)

Description: Basic statistical information on American government and politics. This series provides data on elections, Congress, the presidency, and the judiciary. It also contains information on the media, campaign finances, foreign, social, and economic policy, and a variety of issues related to state and local government.

Statista: The leading statistics portal

(SMU Susbscription)

Description: Provides access to statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources on over 600 industries.