Interviewing lawyers : a critical self-reflection on expert interviews as a method of EU legal research: Network of Legal Empirical Scholars Special Issue 2019

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Interviews are commonly used as a research method in social and political science, where they are considered an effective means to elicit information on political and social behaviour. Interviews are less frequently used in legal research outside characteristically ‘socio-legal’ or ’empirical legal’ research, which is a type of legal research that relies on qualitative or quantitative methods. Drawing on the authors’ own experiences from conducting and using interviews with legal professionals as a source of legal research in the context of EU law, this article offers both a theoretical contribution and some practical insights. Theoretically, it builds on the existing literature on ‘expert’ interviews by examining lawyer interviews as a particular form of ‘expert’ investigations. We argue that interviews with lawyers pose particular challenges, which have been ignored and overlooked in general discussions on expert interviews. These challenges relate to access, confidentiality and control of research data, each of which is discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Legal Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)17-47
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law

Cite this