The Law Prof Twittersphere 2019

Following on the publication of this year’s Law Prof Twitter Census, I have re-run my law-prof-twitter-network-grabbing-script. There’s an updated network of law prof twitter following relations pictured below (click through for interactive version, it may take a moment to load and you may need to allow javascript to run). Once again, nodes are colored by community membership, and there are again 6 detectable communities.

In total there are 3,012,350 unique twitter users who follow at least one professor covered by the census. That’s a substantial increase from the just over 1.7 million of last year. That said, the census has grown to cover 1310 individuals now, up about 19% since last year.

Perhaps more interestingly, the network density—measuring the extent to which professors follow one another on twitter—has increased from 0.068 to 0.073. That is to say, about 7.3% of all possible following ties in the network are present, and more of those ties exist this year than did last year. As social networks grow one generally expects to see lower density. So the fact that density has increased while the number of nodes also grew substantially suggests law profs have continued to add new following relations at a considerable pace.

Top-20 law profs by total followers:

RWPUSARichard PainterMinnesota623685
tribelawLaurence TribeHarvard604930
joycewhitevanceJoyce VanceAlabama364964
lessigLawrence LessigHarvard358850
AndrewBrandtAndrew BrandtVillanova192596
ZephyrTeachoutZephyr TeachoutFordham107835
StevePeersSteve PeersEssex (UK)106330
CassSunsteinCass SunsteinHarvard95107
mgeistMichael GeistOttawa84118
jacklgoldsmithJack GoldsmithHarvard70999
rgoodlawRyan GoodmanNYU69711
McCannSportsLawMichael McCannNew Hampshire68521
orinkerrOrin KerrUSC64281
steve_vladeckSteve VladeckTexas60691
jentaubJennifer TaubVermont57681
jpuriasJoaquín UriasSevilla (Spain)51926
sandylocksKimberle CrenshawUCLA50010
JonathanTurleyJonathan TurleyGeorge Washington48396
LawProfButlerPaul ButlerGeorgetown48391
CaulfieldTimTim CaulfieldAlberta47334

Top-20 by number of other law profs following:

orinkerrOrin KerrBerkeley618
nancyleongNancy LeongDenver529
AnthonyMKreisAnthony KreisChicago-Kent453
DBRodriguez5Daniel B. RodriguezNorthwestern451
design_lawSarah BursteinOklahoma446
lsolumLarry SolumGeorgetown441
steve_vladeckSteve VladeckTexas433
HoffProfDavid A. HoffmanPenn403
CharlotteGardenCharlotte GardenSeattle394
CassSunsteinCass SunsteinHarvard388
profbcrawfordBridget CrawfordPace383
brianlfryeBrian FryeKentucky375
leahlitmanLeah LitmanIrvine374
OrlyLobelOrly LobelSan Diego374
FrankPasqualeFrank PasqualeMaryland363
JillHasdayJill HasdayMinnesota360
TonyVaronaAnthony VaronaMiami354
CBHessickCarissa HessickUNC351
daniellecitronDanielle CitronBoston University345
capricelrobertsCaprice RobertsGeorge Washington340

Top-20 schools based on the number of law prof follower sums

SchoolProf Followers
George Washington1845
Ohio State1844
Boston University1568
UC Irvine1298
New Hampshire1203

Last year at about the time of the census, there was considerable discussion about gender and attention on twitter. Indeed, last year female profs tended to be followed by fewer profs than males. This year, at least within the law prof community, that difference has disappeared. There is no difference in average number of law prof followers by gender. That said, there are still substantial differences in the average number of non-prof followers by gender.

As always, this process is imperfect. The census relies on self-reporting and is thus incomplete. If a user isn’t listed in the census they’re not in the network. There were also about 80 handles in the census that threw errors of various types when trying to get their data via the Twitter API. Errors included: no such user, user suspended, or private profile. I did little to no data cleaning from the original census data, so if schools are represented with multiple names or there were typos in the input data those issues remain. Raw data available for download here, network data available on request:

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