The Law Prof Twittersphere of 2018

Law Prof Twitter Network 2018

It’s been three years since I last did one of these (link), so when Bridget Crawford updated the Law Prof twitter census (link) I thought I’d re-map the twittersphere to see what’s changed, what’s remained the same and to provide a few minutes of self-indulgent navel-gazing for the law prof commentariat. Everything below is subject to the caveat that the census is imperfect and definitely incomplete.

In total there are 1,793,401 total unique twitter users who follow law profs. Within the law prof network there are 1026 profs, 71,778 following relations amongst them, and the network separates pretty well into 6 communities (which invites speculation as to their meaning).

You can see a visualization of the network below, and if you click through the image you should be taken to an interactive version. As an added feature, I’ve added a link to the user’s profile as a node attribute this time. So, if you click on a node on the right side panel there should be a link to their twitter profile. This is particularly useful for following those “close” to you in the network that you don’t yet follow.

Law Prof Twitter Network 2018

You’ll note there are fewer nodes in this network than are represented in the census spreadsheet. An informal examination of the errors encountered when querying the twitter API and visualizing suggests there are five reasons for a prof in the census not showing up in the twitter map: 1) they neither follow nor are followed by any other law profs; 2) their account is private; 3) they’ve changed their handle or there’s a typo in the spreadsheet; 4) they’ve been suspended from twitter; or 5) they’ve deleted their account. If you’re in category 3, you can go and update your info on the census. I might get around to updating this at some point.

Top 20 Law Profs by Total Followers:

Handle Name School             Followers
lessig Lawrence Lessig Harvard 358128
joycewhitevance Joyce Vance Alabama 122188
ZephyrTeachout Zephyr Teachout Fordham 88227
mgeist Michael Geist Ottawa 84744
CassSunstein Cass Sunstein Harvard 77917
StevePeers Steve Peers Essex (UK) 65182
McCannSportsLaw Michael McCann New Hampshire 64786
jacklgoldsmith Jack Goldsmith Harvard 60889
SportsLawGuy Gabe Feldman Tulane 43206
zittrain Jonathan Zittrain Harvard 43068
steve_vladeck Steve Vladeck Texas 41956
orinkerr Orin Kerr USC 41747
EvidenceProf Colin Miller South Carolina 39406
JonathanTurley Jonathan Turley George Washington 38247
CaulfieldTim Tim Caulfield Alberta 33793
rickhasen Rick Hasen UC Irvine 32766
rgoodlaw Ryan Goodman NYU 31426
superwuster Tim Wu Columbia 29562
brooks_rosa Rosa Brooks Georgetown 28064
sandylocks Kimberle Crenshaw UCLA 26230


Top 20 Law Profs by Law Prof Followers:

Handle Name School       Prof Followers
nancyleong Nancy Leong Denver 429
orinkerr Orin Kerr USC 419
DBRodriguez5 Daniel B. Rodriguez Northwestern 387
steve_vladeck Steve Vladeck Texas 363
AnthonyMKreis Anthony Kreis Chicago-Kent 350
design_law Sarah Burstein Oklahoma 346
lsolum Larry Solum Georgetown 344
CharlotteGarden Charlotte Garden Seattle 335
CassSunstein Cass Sunstein Harvard 333
profbcrawford Bridget Crawford Pace 315
FrankPasquale Frank Pasquale Maryland 310
HoffProf David A. Hoffman Penn 292
OrlyLobel Orly Lobel San Diego 291
chris_j_walker Chris Walker Ohio State 281
lessig Lawrence Lessig Harvard 280
CBHessick Carissa Hessick UNC 272
daniellecitron Danielle Citron Maryland 269
WilliamBaude William Baude Chicago 267
SoCalTaxProf Paul Caron Pepperdine 257
leahlitman Leah Litman Irvine 256


Top 20 Schools by follower sums of their law profs:

School Followers
Harvard 586844
Alabama 124758
Fordham 112888
Georgetown 98256
George Washington 95502
Ottawa 94684
UCLA 88014
NYU 75818
New Hampshire 73843
Essex (UK) 71270
Texas 58974
Columbia 56714
UC Irvine 54017
USC 46018
South Carolina 44972
Tulane 43626
Chicago 42820
Alberta 36946
Yale 31923
Stanford 31399


Relationship between number of (log) followers and following:

relationship between followers and following


Finally, there has been quite a bit of discussion within the law prof twittersphere recently about gender, citations, and social media. To help further this discussion in a way that is supported by some data, I’ve assembled a simple spreadsheet tracking law prof twitter users, their number of tweets, followers/following relations, number of twitter lists they appear in, and gender. Note that I identified gender using a very simple (and thus stupid and error-prone) way. Essentially, I just matched first names to a census name dataset. If there was no match or an ambiguous match it’s just listed as ‘undetermined.’ I apologize if this resulted in a mis-identification for you. If this is the case, feel free to email me and I’ll update the file accordingly. You can find the file HERE.


  1. You’re missing the law professors with the most followers:
    Richard Painter (RWPUSA) has 519K followers.
    Larry Tribe (tribelaw) has 387K followers.

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