Legal Epidemiology

PHL Academy's in-depth series about the scientific study of how laws affect public health

This field of transdisciplinary public health law can help answer many important questions about the impact of law on health, such as

  • Why does life expectancy in two neighboring counties differ?
  • How does raising the minimum wage affect health?
  • Are laws regulating youth sports having an impact on traumatic brain injury?

Legal epidemiology — the scientific study of how laws affect public health — gives us a way to answer these public health law questions scientifically. Using the tools of legal epidemiology requires new skills and competencies, the Legal Epidemiology Center (LEC) features trainings and resources to teach you those skills. Developed through a partnership between CDC, ChangeLab Solutions, and the Policy Surveillance Program at Temple University’s Center for Public Health Law Research, the LEC provides a brief overview of its offerings and links to resources for researchers, educators, students, and practitioners in health departments.

The training modules listed below introduce legal epidemiology and two facets of legal epidemiology practice: legal mapping (with a focus on policy surveillance) and research methods. We've also provided additional resources to help you take your legal epidemiology to the next level after you've completed the trainings.

A bookshelf of legal references
Introduction to Legal Epidemiology
The first training in our Legal Epidemiology series explains the scientific approach to studying the impact and effectiveness of laws on health.
A statue of blindfolded Justice holding scales
Introduction to Legal Mapping
A specific process for practicing legal epidemiology is called legal mapping. Learn how it is used to measure effects on health outcomes.
Electronic graphs
Advanced Legal Epidemiology Methods
This training dives into advanced approaches involving analysis and statistics. Learn more about applying these methods to study the impact of law.
Students looking at a board
Resources
Resources for PHL Academy's Legal Epidemiology training series that have been curated for researchers, educators, students, and practitioners in health departments.