Huh, we kept it up for another year. Three years of The Criminal Lawyer, happy birthday to us. To be sure, three years is by no means venerable in the blawgosphere, and we’ve only written about 300 posts in that time, but it’s nice to say that it’s made it past the terrible twos.
There were a few small changes this year. A few tweaks to the appearance, some new code to make things run more smoothly. We ran an experiment to see how ads worked with the blog, but decided they weren’t worth the ugliness, so as soon as the experiment was over so were they. We also broke down and got a Wacom tablet, to improve our photoshopping and create the occasional drawing (like the one above). We sometimes spend more time on the image, now, than on the writing (which isn’t saying much).
A bigger change was to free up commenting. We’d made it difficult to comment before this year, but now it’s pretty easy. We’re still fairly heavy-handed with the monitoring, and anything resembling spam goes bye-bye. But the number of meaningful and useful comments has certainly gone up. We’d like to see it continue. (When a post attracts no comments, we attribute it to the fact that what we said was so self-evidently true and complete, that not a word needs to be added to its perfection.)
Despite lobbying from Scott Greenfield, we did not switch from the editorial first-person plural to the more usual first-person singular. Sorry, Scott.
Our readership certainly improved dramatically this year. Individual posts sometimes get more hits in a day than the whole blog used to get in a month. Spikes in readership didn’t really coincide with any particular post, seeming to come out of the blue, but our pieces on law school and entering the legal profession seemed to bring the most immediate (if temporary) spikes.
The bits on law school and the legal profession certainly got more people upset, that’s for sure. It’s a shame when someone gets upset at something we’ve said, but they are always free to cancel their subscription.
The one post with the single greatest number of hits — triple even the most popular law-school post — was the one about prison being a problem rather than a paradox, and is it solvable. But that wasn’t even one of our favorites. We’re more partial to the ones on overcriminalization and legal policy, wonk that we are.
The most common Google searches that brought people here this year were variations on things like “why become a lawyer,” “what to say to a judge at sentencing,” and “can an undercover cop lie about being a cop.” We tried to answer the most common pressing questions here. Another very common question people Googled, which was not addressed there, is whether the LSAT tests you on math. Last time we checked, it did not. Hope this helps.
The most amusing Google searches that brought people here more than once included such things as “adam smith galleon” (79 visits), “show of hands” (55 visits), “lawyers to avoid” (oh, thank you very much — 36 visits), “chutzpah defense” (23 visits), and 88 visits from the oddly specific “how to win friends and influence people in the digital age,” which was the title of a post we wrote back in February, and oddly enough the title of a book that was just published two days ago. (Don’t worry, author of said book, we won’t sue. The substantive stuff we write gets lifted by other blogs and news sites often enough — even our original copyrighted artwork has appeared on reputable websites of well-known news organizations and the like. We’ve decided to take it all as flattery.)
So here’s to another year. We’re going to keep writing this whether anyone else reads it or not. (And if you stop reading it, you’ll be in good company, including such fine people as our wife, who stopped reading it nearly three years ago.) We do it strictly for our own enjoyment, and we very much like doing it. If you like it too, that’s great, and thank you for stopping by. If you don’t happen to like it… well, who can blame you.