Law Faculty Blogs and the State of the Blogosphere: Introduction

One of the pleasures that comes with blogging is a greater awareness of what is happening on the Blogosphere.  It is a dynamic and often difficult to predict place.  Yet those with a lengthy and consistent Internet footprint learn some of these shifts by seeing them first hand.

The Race to the Bottom was not an early entrant onto the Blogosphere.  For early adopters among law faculty who continue to this day include such luminaries as Eugene Volokh at the Volkokh Conspiracy (2002), Larry Solum at the Legal Theory Blog (2002), Jack Balkin at Balkinization (Jan. 2003), and Steve Bainbridge at (2003).  The Race to the Bottom only entered the Blogosphere in 2007. 

Nonetheless, with five years of experience, it is clear that the blogosphere has undergone considerable evolution.  Two earlier papers chronicled some of this evolution: Of Empires, Independents, and Captives: Law Blogging, Law Scholarship, and Law School Rankings (2008) and Blogs, Law School Rankings, and (2007).  It is time to update the analysis. 

As an initial observation, however, law blogging has become entrenched.  As will be shown, there are now thousands of law review citations to law faculty blogs.  Moreover, some have attempted to assess academic reputation by examining the number of citations in law reviews for each faculty member.  See Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2012: Applying Leiter Scores to Rank the Top Third.  The citation list includes blog posts that are cited in law reviews.  Thus, blogging, among other advantages/consequences, now has the potential to have a material impact on rankings based upon citations in law reviews.  

What will follow is a series of posts that provide raw data. The first will rank blogs based upon court citations.  The second will provide a ranking of law faculty blogs by law review citations.  We will then note who is blogging at what law schools.  This data will be repackaged to show who blogs based upon the ranking of the law school using the ever prominent ranking by US News.  Once the raw data is up, we will offer some conclusions suggested by the data.  

The first post will go up tomorrow.  As the data goes up, we certainly hope that anyone finding a mistake will send in the correction.  Trying to identify law faculty blogs and who is actually blogging is not an easy task and there may well be some omissions.

J Robert Brown Jr.