April 9, 2011

Law Students As Guinea Pigs

Scott DeVito, Florida Coastal School of Law, has published Experimenting on Law Students: Why Imposing no Ethical Constraints on Educational Research Using Law Students is a Bad Idea and Proposed Ethical Guidelines, at 40 Southwestern University Law Review 285 (2010). Here is the abstract.

Under current federal regulations, law school faculties are permitted to engage in human research using students as subjects with little or no ethical oversight. This freewheeling environment runs counter to well-established ethical guidelines for human research and to law professors’ heightened moral duties as members of the Bar and the legal academy. In addition, it exposes students, law faculty, and the legal academy to risks arising out of the use of unregulated human experimentation in law schools. This is inimical to morally good practice. To remedy this ethical problem, this article provides a set of guidelines for law professors who wish to ethically engage in empirical research using students as subjects.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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