Valerie Hans conducts empirical studies of law and the courts, and is one of the nation's leading authorities on the jury system. Trained as a social scientist, she has carried out extensive research and lectured around the globe on juries and jury reforms as well as the uses of social science in law.
She is the author or editor of 7 books and over 100 research articles. Current projects on the American jury include developing a new theory of damage awards, analyzing how jury service promotes civic engagement, examining the impact of race in tort decisions, and researching the jury’s role in death penalty cases. Professor Hans is also studying the introduction of juries and other forms of citizen participation in other countries, including Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, and Taiwan. Her books include Business on Trial: The Civil Jury and Corporate Responsibility (2000); The Jury System: Contemporary Scholarship (2006); and three coauthored books: Judging the Jury (1986); American Juries: The Verdict (2007); and The Psychology of Tort Law (forthcoming).
Professor Hans is President-elect of the Law and Society Association and will begin her two-year term in June 2015.