The Law & Society Association has created a committee to explore issues related to Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). One of the committee members, William Gallagher (Golden Gate Law), asked that I post the following query. I will post my own response in the comments section.
Malcolm Feeley, the current President of the Law and Society Association, has established a committee to examine issues relating to Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and law and society research. As a committee member, I have been asked to look into potential issues that may affect law school-based scholars. As part of that effort, I am requesting legal scholars who do empirical work—broadly construed—in a law school setting to contact me with any information about their experiences with IRBs at their institutions. This is obviously not an attempt to do a comprehensive survey, simply to begin to focus on particular IRB issues that may pertain to law school researchers in particular (if any).
Among the issues that I am interested in learning more about are (1) whether your law school has an IRB procedure that is separate from the rest of the university (if you are not in an independent law school); (2) whether your independent law school has an IRB; and (3) generally what your experiences have been with the IRB procedure at your institution—e.g., have you requested approval? A waiver? What result? Any additional information would be welcome as well.
If you are willing to provide this type of information, please send me a message by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org [and/or post a comment below. BH].