Five years old

I published this blog's first post on March 19, 2013, a critique of the theater of oral argument in Shelby County v. Holder. The blog has been a really useful repository of half-baked ideas (as promised in my unchanged "About" page), some of which have turned into op-eds, shorter articles, or components of longer articles. Others have sat quietly on this blog, dormant, awaiting that web search from an intrepid reporter on an obscure topic I thought amusing at one time.

I also wanted an outlet for some of my ideas on legal education, the legal job market, and crude data visualizations. It's been a quite useful medium for that, too.

It's certainly true that blogging has become less popular. (My own blogging waxes and wanes with interest and seasons.) Much discussion (and media attention) has shifted to Twitter. I've described my cutback on the use of Twitter (I've probably trimmed my use 80% or so in 2018), so I won't rehash that discussion. But I'll say that I miss some of my favorite bloggers who've moved away from the more thoughtful, longer form pieces on blogs and into the quick reactions (or Twitter canoe conversations) of social media. That's not to say they're wrong or bad. It's just to say, I miss some of the more carefully constructed longer-form reads. It's also a bit ironic, I think--blogging was seen as the "unserious" medium 15 years ago, of glib takes and hasty reactions, and here I am nostalgic for a return to that medium I view as so much more serious!

My blogging pace is irregular (but I have managed at least one major entry each month), but I'm grateful to the 370,000 visitors and 530,000 pageviews in five years. I've never earned a penny on this site (a reason it should load quickly and be quite readable!), so I am grateful for your feedback, and I hope I've offered some small enlightenment to readers over the years.

(Feel free to browse this blog's archives! Or check out my actual long-form pieces at SSRN.)

Annual Statement, 2017

Site disclosures

Total operating cost: $192

Total content acquisition costs: $0

Total site visits: 82,014* (-33% over 2016)

Total unique visitors: 68,435 (-36% over 2016)

Total pageviews: 101,049 (-29% over 2016)

Top referrers:
Twitter (7338)
Above the Law (2787)
Facebook (1840)
Top-Law-Schools (1327)
Reddit (1050)
Election Law Blog (820)
ABA Journal (728)
Brian Leiter's Law School Reports (699)
TaxProf (608)

Most popular content (by pageviews):
Ranking the most liberal and conservative law firms (July 16, 2013) (14,035)
February 2017 MBE bar scores collapse to all-time record low in test history (Apr. 7, 2017) (12,771)
Visualizing the 2018 U.S. News law school rankings--the way they should be presented (Mar. 14, 2017) (4959)
The best prospective law students read Homer (Apr. 7, 2014) (3558)
No, the MBE was not "harder" than usual (Sept. 28, 2015) (2170)
Sorting out the Alabama Senate election possibilities in light of Roy Moore (Nov. 9, 2017) (2169)

I have omitted "most popular search results" (99% of search results not disclosed by search engine, very few common searches in 2017):

Sponsored content: none

Revenue generated: none

Platform: Squarespace

Privacy disclosures

External trackers: one (Google Analytics)

Individuals with internal access to site at any time in 2017: one (Derek Muller)

Annual Statement, 2016

Site disclosures

Total operating cost: $192

Total content acquisition costs: $0

Total site visits: 121,781* (+11% over 2015)

Total unique visitors: 107,194 (+16% over 2015)

Total pageviews: 142,077 (+4% over 2015)

Top referrers:
Facebook (39,148)
Twitter (7705)
Above the Law (2905)
TaxProf (2140)
Brian Leiter's Law School Reports (2118)
Washington Post (1013)
Top-Law-Schools (756)
ABA Journal (726)
The Faculty Lounge (612)
Reddit (532)
University of California-Irvine (442)
Pajamas Media (340)

Most popular content (by pageviews):
Hillary Clinton's popular vote margin is meaningless in every way (except pithy tweets) (Nov. 10, 2016) (46,429)
Ranking the most liberal and conservative law firms (July 16, 2013) (11,676)
The best prospective law students read Homer (Apr. 7, 2014) (5236)
Here we go again: February 2015 bar pass rates down over last year (Apr. 10, 2015) (5001)
July 2015 bar exam results again show declining pass rates almost everywhere: outliers, or a sign of more carnage? (Sept. 11, 2015) (4822)
February 2016 MBE bar exam scores drop to lowest point since 1983 (Apr. 1, 2016) (3924)
Status of pending "natural born citizen" challenges and litigation in 2016 presidential election (Feb. 9, 2016) (3880)
No, the MBE was not "harder" than usual (Sept. 28, 2015) (3348)

Most popular search results (when disclosed by search engine; 98% of search results not disclosed by search engine):

excess of democracy (43)
2015 bar passage rates (23)
excess of democracy blog (15)
conservative law firms (14)
lionel hutz (12)

Sponsored content: none

Revenue generated: none

Platform: Squarespace

Privacy disclosures

External trackers: one (Google Analytics)

Individuals with internal access to site at any time in 2016: one (Derek Muller)

*Over the course of a year, various spam bots from sites like Semalt, Adfly, Snip.to, and others may begin to visit the site at a high rate. As they did so, I added them to a referral exclusion list, but their initial visits are not disaggregated from the overall totals. These sites are also excluded from the top referrers list. Additionally, all visits from my own computers are excluded.

My favorite Excess of Democracy posts from 2016

What I enjoy writing here at Excess of Democracy does not always correlate with what others enjoy reading. I'll soon post my year-end report with the most popular posts, but I thought I'd offer a few of my favorite posts from Excess of Democracy in 2016, as I did in 2015. (For my academic work, my SSRN page is a good place to start--articles were published in the Florida State University Law Review, the Arizona Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, the Ohio State Law Journal Furthermore, and the George Washington Law Review On the Docket. Any my favorite content published elsewhere--Wall Street Journal opinion pieces on the third-party ballot and campaign finance outcomes, and faithless electors; a Washington Post piece on the Electoral College; a St. Louis Post-Dispatch piece on Judge Raymond W. Gruender, for whom I clerked; and a piece at the Online Library of Law and Liberty about campaign finance law--are also not listed below. A more complete list can be found on my CV.)

Status of "natural born citizen" challenges and litigation in 2016 presidential election (Feb. 9, 2016)

Legal employment outcomes in California, DC-Maryland-Virginia, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Florida in 2015 (Apr. 2016)

Visualizing federal judicial clerkship placement, 2013-2015 (May 2, 2016)

Jefferson v. Hamilton and House of Representatives v. Burwell (May 12, 2016)

The twenty-two (or twenty-three) law reviews you should follow on Twitter (July 5, 2016)

Why is the ABA still accrediting law schools? (Oct. 28, 2016)

The collapse of bar pass rates in California (Dec. 14, 2016)

Electoral College posts (miscellaneous topic)

Annual Statement, 2015

Site disclosures

Total operating cost: $192

Total content acquisition costs: $125

Total site visits: 109,782* (+31% over 2014)

Total unique visitors: 92,542 (+29% over 2014)

Total pageviews: 136,362 (+32% over 2014)

Top referrers:
Above the Law (9986)
Pajamas Media (3809)
TaxProf (3587)
Facebook (2709)
Twitter (2615)
Brian Leiter's Law School Reports (2075)
Reddit (1782)
Top-Law-Schools.com (1206)
JD Underground (846)
University of California-Irvine (720)
ABA Journal (701)
The Faculty Lounge (575)
New York Times (426)
Election Law Blog (418)

Most popular content (by pageviews):
Here we go again: February 2015 bar pass rates down over last year (Apr. 10, 2015) (21,645)
July 2015 bar exam results again show decline pass rates almost everywhere: outliers, or a sign of more carnage? (Sept. 11, 2015) (16,248)
Ranking the most liberal and conservative law firms (July 16, 2013) (9084)
The wrong sort of law school applicants, visualized (Apr. 7, 2015) (6698)
Where are they now? Supreme Court clerks, OT2005 (July 31, 2015) (6066)

Most popular search results (when disclosed by search engine; 97% of search results not disclosed by search engine):
excess of democracy (96)
july 2015 bar exam results (32)
conservative law firms (13)
2015 bar passage rates (11)
ncbe (11)
feb 2015 bar pass rates (10)
most conservative law firms (10)

Sponsored content: none

Revenue generated: none

Platform: Squarespace hosted by Peer1 and Equinix

Privacy disclosures

External trackers: one (Google Analytics)

Individuals with internal access to site at any time in 2015: one (Derek Muller)

*Over the course of the year, various spam bots from sites like Semalt, Adfly, Snip.to, and others began visiting the site at a high rate. As they did so, I added them to a referral exclusion list, but their initial visits are not disaggregated from the overall totals. These sites are also excluded from the top referrers list. Additionally, all visits from my own computer are excluded.

My favorite Excess of Democracy posts from 2015

What I enjoy writing here at Excess of Democracy does not always correlate with what others enjoy reading. I'll soon post my year-end report with the most popular posts, but I thought I'd offer a few of my favorite posts from Excess of Democracy in 2015. (For my academic work, my SSRN page is a good place to start. Any my favorite content published elsewhere--a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on the equal time doctrine, and a piece at the Online Library of Law and Liberty about Evenwel v. Abbott--are also not listed below.)

Can foreign governments fund Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign? (Feb. 18, 2015)

The slow, steady decline of the LSAT (Mar. 9, 2015)

Remembering the Armenian Genocide (Apr. 22, 2015)

Visualizing law school federal judicial clerkship placement, 2012-2014 (May 1, 2015)

LSAT scores and GPAs of law school matriculants, sorted by undergraduate major, 2013-2014 (May 4, 2015)

The twenty-two law reviews you should follow on Twitter (June 1, 2015)

Could Evenwel v. Abbott end prison gerrymandering? And other potential implications (June 2, 2015)

Puerto Rico and Electoral College reform (Sept. 8, 2015)

Elbridge Gerry and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on our federal system (Sept. 9, 2015)

A tale of two law school applicant cycles (Sept. 14, 2015)

No, the MBE was not "harder" than usual (Sept. 28, 2015)

Janet Reno, for-profit law schools, and a reversal at the New York Times (Oct. 26, 2015)

What happens after a test-taker fails the bar exam on a first attempt? Some data from Texas (Nov. 5, 2015)

Slopegraphs of recent Iowa caucus polling and results (Nov. 18, 2015)

California bar exam takers are far more able than others nationwide but fail at much higher rates (Nov. 21, 2015)

Annual Statement, 2014

Site disclosures

Total operating cost: $186.47

Total content acquisition costs: $348.70

Total site visits: 83,706

Total unique visitors: 71,902

Total pageviews: 102,923

Top referrers:
Above the Law (12,676)
Facebook (8194)
Pajamas Media (4196)
Twitter (4091)
ABA Journal (3738)
Brian Leiter's Law School Reports (3438)
TaxProf (3252)
Election Law Blog (1802)
Reddit (1096)
The Faculty Lounge (782)
law.uci.edu (573)

Most popular content (by pageviews):
The best prospective law students read Homer (24,095)
Ranking the most liberal and conservative law firms (5516)
Bar exam scores dip to their lowest level in 10 years (5241)
Law school microranking: federal judicial clerkship placement, 2011-2013 (4803)
Ranking the law school rankings, 2014 (4780)
Increasingly appears NCBE may have had a role in declining MBE scores and bar pass rates (4201)
Where are they now? Supreme Court clerks, OT2004 (4152)

Most popular search results (when disclosed by search engine):
law school rankings (75)
excess of democracy (45)
law school rankings 2014 (40)
conservative law firms (16)
affordable law schools (13)
jd advantage jobs (13)
law schools worst yet to come excessofdemocracy (13)

Sponsored content: none

Revenue generated: none

Platform: Squarespace hosted by Peer1

Privacy disclosures

External trackers: one (Google Analytics)

Individuals with internal access to site at any time in 2014: one (Derek Muller)

Top network domains of .edu and .gov visitors, October 1, 2013-September 30, 2014

I've been looking around at some of the data that Google Analytics tracks, and one thing it tracks include network domains of visitors. I found it fascinating, and I thought I'd share the results from a couple of categories this blog's visitors.

For visitors from the United States in the last twelve months (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014), here are the top network domains for .edu visitors (7445 sessions total):

uci.edu (UC-Irvine): 307

pepperdine.edu (Pepperdine): 246

nyu.edu (NYU): 244

columbia.edu (Columbia): 229

upenn.edu (Penn): 206

ucla.edu (UCLA): 203

harvard.edu (Harvard): 192

utexas.edu (Texas): 135

northwestern.edu (Northwestern): 134

jmls.edu (John Marshall Law School): 122

yale.edu (Yale): 109

lls.edu (Loyola Los Angeles): 103

ohio-state.edu (Ohio State): 95

georgetown.edu (Georgetown): 92

cornell.edu (Cornell): 91

nd.edu (Notre Dame): 86

duke.edu (Duke): 85

uchicago.edu (Chicago): 84

virginia.edu (Virginia): 83

stanford.edu (Stanford): 81

And here are the top network domains for .gov visitors (2046 sessions total):

uscourts.gov (853)

usdoj.gov (324)

senate.gov (55)

house.gov (54)

ca.gov (49)

uspto.gov (33)

fec.gov (32)

nyc.gov (28)

ssa.gov (27)

irs.gov (22)