What makes a legal blog qualify for a ranking of “Best”? The top legal blogs (or “blawgs”) should not only be ranked because of their utility as a legal resource, but by their popularity as well.
The Avvo Blog legal Web site rates the top blawgs, as ranked by Internet traffic as measured by the Web information company Alexa. (Avvo, incidentally, is ranked among blawgs by Alexa.)
A perusal of blawg rankings by traffic, blawgs by their users, and the sites themselves has yielded up this list of the five best blawgs. Some blawgs, like Althouse, which is ranked #3 by Alexa in terms of traffic and gets the thumbs up by many blawg users, has been eliminated because, after reading it, it seems, frankly, stupid. It features the musings of University of Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse. I was just not impressed.
These, then, are the 5 Best Blogs, ranked alphabetically:
1. Above The Law
Above the Law is the most popular blawg on the Web, as ranked by Alexa in terms of traffic. It’s also highly regarded by users. Above the Law covers the legal beat from the perspective of a law student or junior associate, focusing on the the Top 15 Law schools, in terms of graduates hired by prestigious firms, and the Top 100 law firms.
2. The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times
This blawg, which covers the law from an “Inside the Beltway” perspective, is ranked #16 in terms of traffic by Alexa. The blawg is focused on lobbying.
3. Law Professors Blog Network
Ranked #4 in terms of traffic by Alexa, the blawg is a resource providing news and information for law professors. It is edited by University of Cincinnati Law Professor Paul L. Caron.
4. The SCOTUS Blog, a blawg covering the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), comes in at #19 in terms of Web traffic. Written by both law professors and law students, it deals with cases recently decided by the Court and developments in constitutional law. According to the ABA Journal, SCOTUS decisions are frequently posted on this site BEFORE they are posted on the official SCOTUS site. Founded in 2002, it is funded by the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, the 38th largest law firm in the world, in terms of billings.
5. The Volokh Conspiracy
The #2 Web site in terms of Web traffic, this conservative/libertarian blawg is popular amongst users of all (relatively moderate, i.e., those who are part of the system) political persuasions. Named after UCLA Law School Professor Eugene Volokh, the blawg is a group effort, mostly by other law professors. IN 2006. the blawg established itself as a major player by being a source for a New York Times article on the dearth of female law clerks at the U.S. Supreme Court.
ABA Journal, “Website Lists 100 Best Law Blogs”
ABA Journal: Law Professor, Blawg Directory
Avvo Blog, “Top Legal Blogs”
Criminal Justice Degree Guide, “The Top 100 Law and Lawyer Blogs”