How do you learn to deal with numbers, what is the context of those numbers? How can you make, interpret, and evaluate probability statements and predictions? As a lawyer, you do not need to know the exact technical details, but you do need to be able to ask the right questions and interpret the answers of the experts. The Dutch language book "Quantitative insight for lawyers" (Kwantitatief inzicht voor juristen) offers all the necessary tools for dealing with quantitative data when solving legal issues. There are plans for an English translation.
First copy presented to Vice Dean Harriët Schelhaas
Author of this study book is econometrician and part-time professor at Erasmus School of Law, Philip Hans Franses. In front of Sanders building on Woudestein campus, he presented the first copy to Vice Dean of Bachelor Education, Professor Harriët Schelhaas. The photo shows in the background the beautiful drawing by artist Hanna de Haan, which is also used for the book cover.
The book pays extensive attention to the way in which you can interpret and evaluate probability statements and predictions. More than that: you are going to make forecasts yourself. And this is important because as a lawyer it is important to understand how and in what way people arrive at probability statements and predictions. As a lawyer it is not necessary to know the exact technical details, that is what others can do, but it is important to be able to ask the right questions.
Erasmus School of Law is a leader in numerical literacy
Franses' book ties in seamlessly with the Dutch language minor "Applying quantitative data in legal practice", which he has taught since 2020 at Erasmus School of Law, a traditionally economically oriented school with a business-oriented and social profile. Mastering 21st-century skills is becoming increasingly important for lawyers. In addition to understanding the combination of moving images and spoken text (visual literacy), dealing with numbers and statistics (numerical literacy) has already been recognised in the United States as a distinctive skill for lawyers. Take the prediction of the effects of new legal rules in society using methods from economics (such as process simulation, data analytics and scenario analyses of policy). Another example is studying the regulatory effect of instruments from the market and social movements (such as financial incentives, social pressure and boycotts). The fact that Franses teaches law students to deal with figures and statistics makes Erasmus School of Law a leader in numerical literacy.