The New Public Law scholarship has an audience and a subject, but does not demand any specific methodology. It is broad enough to incorporate existing methods, including critical legal studies and law and economics. Scholars of the New Public Law have also applied the new methods to judicial decisions. The New Public Law scholarship is as capacious as old legal scholarship.
A new journal is emerging that seeks to address public policy issues not addressed in traditional legal scholarship. Founded by five University of Kansas law students in March 1990, the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy aims to provide a forum for public debate on issues that are important to society.
With rapid changes in culture, politics, the media, communications, and more, common law courts have faced a variety of challenges. These challenges have necessitated modifications to the common law in many instances.
The regulatory state of law refers to an expansion of the role of the state in policymaking, monitoring, enforcement, and other activities. This expansion is more often accomplished through regulation, rather than taxation or spending. The emergence of this regulatory state of law is an important phenomenon for policymakers and theorists of the state. It signals the end of Keynesian demand management and the emergence of new administrative tools for steering market dynamics.
Legal scholarship is research that explores legal issues in order to make law better. Unlike legal analysis and brief writing, this type of research focuses on the law itself, rather than merely analyzing specific cases. It is academic in nature, and may also provide insight into how courts interpret and apply the law.
As empirical studies become increasingly important, their place in law is expanding. Government departments are distributing budgets for empirical research and using results to inform new policies and legislation. Empirical studies can also provide argumentative support for legislative proposals.
Legal realism is a theory of law which argues that all law originates in social and political interests. As a result, it differs from legal formalism. It can be understood in two different ways: as a descriptive theory, and as a prescriptive theory.