Our Mission

As an interuniversity research school, the ELS Academy is focused on educating and supporting researchers who are interested in empirically exploring questions that are relevant to legal scholarship. The goal is to stimulate and strengthen empirical legal research and its applications. In the Netherlands, the topics and research methods that make up empirical legal studies are diverse, comprising for instance both qualitative and quantitative methods.

The mission of the ELS Academy centers around community building with the following pillars:

  • Learning
  • Exchange
  • Collaboration
  • Visibility



Our mission is to facilitate an increasing number of legal scholars to explore empirical questions in their research. Empirical methods do not belong to the traditional toolbox of legal scholars. It is the objective of the Law Sector Plan as well as the ELS Academy to mainstream these methods over the coming years. The ELS Academy provides legal scholars with a comprehensive toolbox and a community of peers and experts from whom they can learn.

See Research training



Our mission is to develop a country-wide network of resources and education. The Dutch law schools join forces and share knowledge and experience as well as course materials with regard to empirical methods in legal research. Open knowledge sharing for both education and research brings structural innovation to the legal domain beyond the sector plan. The ELS Academy is a way to institutionalize this exchange.

See Partner universities



Our mission is to give impetus to collaboration in empirical legal research projects. Facilitated by the sector plan, the Netherlands has seen a rise in empirical legal scholars over the past few years. The ELS Academy focuses on bringing them together in a national community. This strengthens collaboration between law schools as well as interdisciplinary collaboration, as scholars from other disciplines, in particular the social and behavioral sciences, are part of this community.

See People



Our mission is to be a national and public platform that is at the forefront of empirical legal studies worldwide. The ELS Academy showcases the empirical legal research that is being done and the ELS education that is being offered in the Netherlands. As a leading platform, it is focused on international collaboration and has initiated the foundation of the European Society for Empirical Legal Studies.

See European Society for Empirical Legal Studies