Research Data Scientist, School of Law
Job ID: R0035054 | Data Analysis | Full Time | Charlottesville, VA
The Legal Data Lab in the Arthur J. Morris Law Library at the University of Virginia School of Law seeks qualified applicants for the position of Research Data Scientist. The University of Virginia School of Law is consistently recognized as one of the top law schools in the country, and the Law Library is critical to its mission and culture. The Arthur J. Morris Law Library supports the Law School's mission of excellence in teaching, research and publication.

The Legal Data Lab serves the ever-evolving empirical research needs of the Law School community and provides support across the entire lifecycle of empirical projects. The Lab is currently looking for a professional with expertise in the collection, cleaning and organization of datasets (e.g., web scraping, data manipulation, etc.). This is a new position reporting to the head of the Legal Data Lab. One of the Library's highest priorities is to help students learn effective research skills and, to that end, the librarians have developed an ambitious instructional program that supports both in-class and individual point-of-need learning. As a vital member of the Lab, the Research Data Scientist will have a direct impact on strategy and planning for the Lab.

The Research Data Scientist will assist faculty and other library patrons with complex research initiatives requiring the collection, cleaning and digital dissemination of legal and other data. Depending on experience, other duties may include assistance with statistical analyses and/or machine learning and natural language processing.

  • Extract, clean and organize data from print and web-based sources for members of the Law School community.
  • Advise and collaborate with faculty and other Law School community members on empirical legal research projects.
  • Supervise one or more research assistants and/or collaborate with Law Library staff to advance research projects.
  • Advise scholars concerning new research tools and methods for making the empirical research process more efficient and effective.
  • Participate in the planning and direction of the Legal Data Lab.
  • Participate in the statistical and/or data science communities of the University of Virginia and the surrounding community.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree plus at least six years of relevant experience or master's degree plus at least two years of relevant experience.
  • Proficiency with Python and/or R programming languages. Familiarity with Stata is a plus.
  • Strong technical skills and problem-solving abilities related to data collection and cleaning.
  • Demonstrated experience with web scraping, electronic document parsing and using APIs to fetch data. Knowledge of HTML and JavaScript sufficient to confidently extract data from websites.
  • Experience with data wrangling, such as merging, reshaping or manipulating data using regular expressions.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and produce deliverables in a timely fashion.
  • Strong attention to detail and quality of work product.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Master's degree in computer/information/data science or an applied social science field.
  • Demonstrated experience with machine learning and natural language processing and/or statistics.
  • Familiarity with distributed version-control systems (e.g., Git and GitHub).
  • Familiarity with legal information or a willingness to learn.
  • Familiarity with UNIX and UNIX-based systems. Comfort in using the command line.
  • Experience working with and supporting faculty across the lifecycle of empirical research projects (e.g., project design, data collection, analysis, dissemination).

The environment at the Law School is both active and supportive with a strong sense of collegiality among students, faculty and staff and a commitment to excellence and service.

The School of Law is located in Charlottesville, VA, a college town setting with natural beauty and significant historical relevance in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Charlottesville is a wonderful place to live with an extraordinary quality of life, often ranked among the best places to live in the United States.

The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Jon Ashley, Search Committee Chair, at

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Please visit the UVA COVID-19 Job Requirements and Guidelines webpage prior to applying for current information regarding vaccination requirements and guidelines for employment at UVA.




Charlottesville, VA
Charlottesville, VA 22903

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