Document Type


Publication Date



Law has long aspired to achieve status as a science. A central theme of much legal philosophy has been the quest for legal doctrine to become more like scientific axioms or findings produced through a scientific inquiry. Considerable debate has surrounded the issue. Part of the legal profession sees the question of law's science status as doomed to failure and regards law as a distinct type of discipline. Others in the legal profession are attracted to the aspiration but express doubt regarding whether the methods that the legal doctrine has traditionally employed can achieve the greater apparent rigor of the physical sciences, or even the social sciences.

One tool for at least making strides toward a more scientific brand of law is the Delphi Method, a regime for capturing expert analysis developed by the Rand Corporation during the mid-twentieth century." Judicious injection of the Delphi Method principles and practices can make both legal policymaking and application of the law more consistent, systematic, reflective, consistent and wise-more "scientific," if you will. We are not proposing a change in the law's paradigm but rather proposing that the law-making and the legal system make self-conscious use of the Delphi Method in apt situations. A too-often overlooked methodology can play a relevant role in law making, legal research, and adjudication.

Publication Citation

87 UMKC L. Rev. 919 (2019).