Statistical Inference in Law (3 credits)

Statistical evidence plays a key role in many types of litigation including employment discrimination, products liability, securities fraud, and environmental crimes. The primary objective of this course is to provide an overview of statistical concepts used in legal decision making, with an emphasis on the logic of statistical evidence and inference, i.e., determining when the use of statistics is appropriate, and when assumptions based on statistical evidence are plausible or controversial. Topics for discussion will include profiling in criminal cases, DNA evidence in paternity suits, proving causation, determining future economic values, medical testing, and jury selection. Students will develop a basic understanding of the quantitative methods of statistics and probability, skill and comfort with working with statistical evidence, and confidence in communicating statistical issues in the law. The course does not require previous study in statistics or any particular mathematical background. Pre-requisites:  None.