Numbers for Lawyers


Most law students and lawyers that I have met share a common fear: numbers. The problem is that lawyers must confront numbers in many areas of the law, whether they are calculating child support for their client, advising a client on tax matters, negotiating a contract in a commercial transaction, or trying to prove an adverse impact under Title VII or the ADEA. So, to help those that have an aversion to statistics, this paper walks through a statistical analysis engaged in by the Supreme Court in Castaneda to substantiate a plaintiff’s claim of adverse impact in grand jury selection procedures. Along the way, the concepts of standard deviation and chi squares are explored and explained in detail within the context of that case, and other cases involving discrimination.

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