Dane R. Thorley

Associate Professor of Law

Professor Thorley is an Associate Professor of Law. His research explores how the rules, procedures, and practices currently utilized in the U.S. courtroom impact the behavior of judges, attorneys, and parties and how that behavior then influences the implementation and efficacy of those rules. In exploring these issues, he employs his training as a field experimentalist to conduct empirical evaluations that are both informed by the realities of the legal system and methodologically rigorous. His work covers a number of substantive areas, with a particular focus on court procedure and criminal law. Professor Thorley also produces well recognized scholarship on the growing role that randomized field experiments should play in the study and development of law, procedure, and policy.

Courses Taught

  • Civil Procedure
  • Professional Responsibility


  • Ph.D., Columbia University
  • J.D., Yale Law School
  • M.Phil., Columbia University
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • B.A., Brigham Young University


  • Why Judges Don’t Recuse Themselves and Attorneys Don’t Ask Them To: A Randomized Field Experiment Testing the Efficacy of Recusal and Disclosure [SSRN]
  • Field Experimentation and the Study of Law and Policy [SSRN]
  • Randomness Pre-considered: Making Unbiased Causal Inference Through the Random Assignment of Judges [SSRN]
  • Testing Williams-Yulee: An Experiment on Judicial Elections, Institutional Trust, and Tenuous Empirical Claims in the Supreme Court [SSRN]
  • The Legal and Ethical Challenges of Running Randomized Field Experiments in the Courtroom [SSRN]