Phd Seminar on Qualitative Research Methods in Legal Studies – University of Copenhagen

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Phd Seminar on Qualitative Research Methods in Legal Studies

he PhD School, iCourts-Centre of Excellence for International Courts, the Centre for Information and Innovation Law (CIIR) and the Department of Public Health of the University of Copenhagen invite all PhD students within the discipline of jurisprudence to a course on

Qualitative Research Methods in Legal Studies

The purpose of this course is to provide students with insight into the design and implementation of (semi-structured) interview techniques, as well as field work within the field of legal studies. Due to what has been labelled an ‘empirical turn in legal scholarship,’ students and researchers within law are increasingly drawing on both quantitative and qualitative research methods in their research. In this wider context, qualitative research methods, such as interviews and ethnographic observation have played a pivotal role for new and emerging scholarship of a number of different legal fields. Here interviews are used to provide an empirically based understanding of the social fabric in which legal practices are embedded and of the very impact of the law in local contexts.

PhD students and young researchers in law increasingly have to compete on an international market in which empirical methods have become increasingly prevalent. As such, it is important to equip students with the necessary theoretical and practical tools in order to facilitate effective and coherent approaches to conducting interviews in the field. At the same time this will enable them to perform original studies that situate their research in current international scholarly currents and to address ongoing debates about the role of empirical work in legal science. The implementation and use of qualitative research approaches also necessitates an understanding of ethical questions and considerations as to the ways in which interview material can be used in writing articles and reports.

The course is designed to provide the students the opportunity to work hands-on with their own research question frameworks and how to plan and execute an original project based on qualitative semi-structured interviews. Students will receive feedback on their own interview frameworks and work on developing them. Students are expected to bring with them their interview frameworks and questions which will be discussed and developed together.


Phd Seminar on Qualitative Research Methods in Legal Studies (pdf)


Three sessions from 18- 20 April 2017:

  • Tuesday - 9:30-16:00
  • Wednesday - 9:30-16:00
  • Thursday - 9:30-13:00

Venue: Room 8A-0-57 (the conference/flex room). Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Karen Blixens Plads 16, 2300 Copenhagen S.


Course organiser:

  • Aaro Tupasela, Associate professor, CIIR and Section for Health Services Research
  • Mikkel Jarle Christiansen, Associate professor, iCourts
  • Juan A. Mayoral, Postdoctoral researcher, iCourts

Maximum no. of participants: 12

Signing up

Please sign up by filling in this form
no later than 1 April 2017

Any questions about the course may be directed to Aaro Tupasela (+45 2934 2276 or, Juan A. Mayoral (+45 50112125 or and Mikkel Jarle Christiansen (+45 35323109 or