Paul L. Caron

Monday, July 30, 2007

Brown on Blogs and Law School Rankings: TaxProf Blog Is #1!

Jay Brown (Denver) has posted Blogs, Law School Rankings, and the Race to the Bottom on SSRN.  The paper examines the Top 200 law blogs as ranked by Justia on June 25, 2007. (The ranking is based on the number of visits to law blogs from the law blog search engine on Justia.) Of the Top 200 law blogs by this measure, 37 are run by law professors.  Here are the Top 25 law professor blogs (including overall ranking among Top 200 law blogs):

  1. TaxProf Blog (8)
  2. Religion Clause (10)
  3. PrawfsBlawg (15)
  4. Sentencing Law and Policy (16)
  5. Workplace Prof Blog (17)
  6. Conglomerate (18)
  7. Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (33)
  8. Legal Theory Blog (47)
  9. Federal Civil Practice Bulletin (50)
  10. While Collar Crime Prof Blog (52)
  11. Mirror of Justice (53)
  12. The Volokh Conspiracy (55)
  13. Truth on the Market (57)
  14. Technology & Marketing Law Blog (61)
  15. 43(B)log (65)
  16. Balkinization (75)
  17. Concurring Opinions (87)
  18. CrimProf Blog (99)
  19. ImmigrationProf Blog (107)
  20. Ideoblog (114)
  21. Family Law Prof Blog (118)
  22. (124)
  23. Leonard Link (130)
  24. PropertyProf Blog (141)
  25. Legal Profession Blog (147)

I am, of course, proud that TaxProf Blog is rated the #1 law blog by Justia, and that five of the Top 10 law blogs (and ten of the Top 25 law blogs) are members of our Law Professor Blogs Network.

Here is the abstract of the paper:

Blogs are changing legal scholarship. Although not a substitute for the detailed, often intricately researched analysis contained in law reviews and other scholarly publications, they fill an important gap in the scholarly continuum. Blog posts can generate ideas and discussion that can be transformed into more a systematic and thorough paper or scholarly article. At the same time, blogs provide a forum for testing ideas once they are published in more traditional venues.

While over time, a blog presence will likely become de rigueur for top scholars and law reviews, top tier schools as a group have not yet targeted blogs as a necessary component of scholarly activity. In the short term, therefore, blogs provide unique opportunities for faculty and law schools outside the top tier to enhance their reputational rankings. Blogs can enhance reputation by allowing faculty to route around some of the biases in law review placements and SSRN rankings that favor those at the top tier schools. Blogs also represent a cost effective mechanism for advertising scholarly activity.

The paper discusses the evidence that blogs enhance reputation and surveys the way that scholars at law schools outside the top tier are already harnessing blogs to enhance their reputations. The paper also discusses what it takes to create a successful blog, from the search for content to the benefits of advertising. The paper finishes with a brief history of The Race to the Bottom, a corporate governance blog.

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