EEOC Litigation Project Colloquia Series

The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital is co-hosting, along with the law school’s Center for Empirical Research in the Law (CERL), a two-part colloquium which will gather scholars in law, economics and political science to examine litigation pursued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the activity of the federal district courts in resolving those disputes.

After a multi-year data collection effort, researchers at CERL recently released a comprehensive database capturing detailed information about the EEOC’s litigation activities in the federal district courts over a 10 year period of time.  Principal investigators during that phase of the project were Pauline Kim, Charles Nagel Professor of Law; Andrew Martin, vice dean, professor of law and political science and CERL director; and Margo Schlanger, professor of law at the University of Michigan. 

The database, which is available at, is well suited for exploring questions about the EEOC’s litigation activities, judicial decision-making at the trial court level, and the dynamics of litigation and settlement.  It contains in-depth information on all aspects of the agency’s litigation including data on the allegations in the complaint, the presiding judge or judges, the attorneys, and the amount of monetary and non-monetary relief the EEOC sought and obtained. It also tracks information on the litigation events (e.g., motions, discovery disputes, and court orders) that occurred in each case prior to resolution as well as coding for the form of resolution in the case (e.g., default, withdrawal, pretrial, and trial adjudications).  All types of court decisions are recorded—published and unpublished, final and non-final, written and summary.  The underlying documents used for coding the data are also available, at

Session I - March 15, 2013

By Invitation Only

The first meeting will be held on March 15, 2013 and will gather a group of scholars from political science, economics, and law who are interested in exploring the data to better understand litigation generally and the EEOC’s litigation activities in particular.  The goal of the first meeting will be identifying and generating significant research questions that can answered by analyzing the recently recent data on the EEOC’s litigation activities.  Individual participants will pursue these questions through statistical analysis of the data.  The group of scholars will gather again during the 2013-14 academic year to review and discuss the results of these analyses.


Project Organizers:
Pauline Kim, Washington University School of Law
Andrew Martin, Washington University School of Law
Margo Schlanger, University of Michigan Law School