Grant: LSAC Research Grant Program
he Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Research Grant Program funds research on a wide variety of topics related to the mission of LSAC. Specifically included in the program's scope are projects investigating precursors to legal training, selection into law schools, legal education, and the legal profession. To be eligible for funding, a research project must inform either the process of selecting law students or legal education itself in a demonstrable way. Projects will be funded for amounts up to $200,000.
The program welcomes proposals for research proceeding from any of a variety of methodologies, a potentially broad range of topics, and varying time frames. Proposals will be judged on the importance of the questions addressed, their relevance to the mission of LSAC, the quality of the research designs, and the capacity of the researchers to carry out the project. Eligible investigators need not be members of law school faculties. Proposals from interdisciplinary teams of law faculty and researchers from outside law schools are strongly encouraged.
LSAC's membership includes law schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Comparative proposals about topics outside the United States, Canada, and Australia are welcome, but they must include some explicit connection to legal education or the legal profession within those countries.
A meritorious project could be informed by any disciplinary perspective and be guided by any of a variety of methodologies. Applicants may use methodologies derived from many disciplines, including anthropology, criminology, demography, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Projects may be qualitative or quantitative, cross-sectional or longitudinal. They may involve any of a variety of research techniques such as surveys, experiments, correlational methods, systematic observations, and ethnography. The program, however, requires that any project that is funded be planned and conducted in accordance with the best social scientific standards that are applicable to the type of research in question.
Some types of projects are not eligible for funding under this research grant program. Examples of projects that would NOT be funded include doctrinal studies (e.g., investigations into points of substantive law), curriculum development or evaluation for a particular law school, preparation of casebooks, and other course-specific material. Others include projects that do not meet the criteria stated above, for example, evaluation of programs by the program administrators or researchers at the host law school, projects with an international focus that do not include or directly relate to LSAC member-school countries, projects whose conclusions would be too narrow to inform LSAC's broad membership, and studies that do not have a demonstrable relationship to LSAC's mission.
Possible topics can address a broad range of issues. Although the program welcomes research on a variety of topics, three topics are of particular interest.