"Your Blawg Helped My Grades":

Here's a message I got from a reader:

I'm writing to thank you for your contribution to the legal blogosphere because it was the primary influence that positively affected my most recent grades. While I can't prove causation, I feel comfortable with the assertion that your blog was a big help. As such, I view your blog as a great legal educational tool in addition to its entertainment value.

I'm currently a 3L. I started reading your blog (daily, sometimes 3 times a day) at the beginning of last summer or maybe in the spring of my 2L year. Over several months of reading entries on the Volokh Conspiracy, I began to acquire significantly better analytical skills. I noticed it in my day-to-day conversations among friends and in my school work.

I'd performed well in my first two years, but I didn't really understand what it meant to write a good law school exam. This last semester, I went into my examines with the confidence that I was going to write 'A' exams (and I did for the most part). My confidence and the knowledge supporting it was, in large part, a product of reading your blog.

The Volokh Conspiracy provides great examples of law school test writing. Frequently, the posts on your blog involve the application of law to facts. Of course, such law-to-fact application can be found in lots of places. But your blog is superior; it does a great job of law-to-fact application with a large variety of legal issues and a large variety of fact patterns. In addition to the wide variety of laws and facts, your posters tend to write more clearly, economically, and persuasively than other blogs, long form law review articles, or cases.

Additionally, the comments section of your blog is often filled with insightful critiques of the posts, which further enhances my analytical skills.

Some of my improvement was the natural product of working hard in law school. But a large part of it was my daily dose of The Volokh Conspiracy.

Thank you for your time. Please continue the good work.

Adam Levin

Use these numbers for comparison, your mileage may vary, but, hey, if it worked for Mr. Levin, I'm delighted to hear it.

Cornellian (mail):
As they say, you can't buy publicity like that.

I'd also add that, given the very wide open commenting policy, the ratio of legitimate comments to junk is quite impressive.
1.26.2007 8:42pm
I second Mr. Levin's sentiments. I've been a reader for about a year and a half and just finished my first semester of law school. I ended up with a 3.57 and have an excellent shot at my goal of making law review. I was a casual reader before I came to law school, but around mid-October, I really began to appreciate how much your blog enhanced my perspective on so many basic first-year concepts (the Smoot v. Mazda Motors case, the res ipsa case where Judge Posner handed down Rule 11 sanctions for amount-in-controversy and diversity jurisdiction errors in the pleadings, immediately comes to mind). I had to register and post once I saw this entry just to say thanks.
1.26.2007 9:16pm
*That should be Rule 28 sanctions. All apologies.
1.26.2007 9:20pm
Realist Liberal (mail):
I'm with Adam on this one. I'm currently a 2L and I started reading your blog over this past summer. I did okay in my first year (I got a 3.200 at a school with a C curve) but this last semester I did much better. I got a 3.571 and went from top 12% at the end of my 1L year to top 6% at the end of last semester. Like Adam I'm sure that part of it was this blog. One problem I had last year was being too conclusory. Your blog is good at clearly articulating arguments for both sides and then analyzing why you think your conclusion is correct.
1.26.2007 9:20pm
Jeremy T:
Yeah, I had a similar experience. Though I did zero hard work, and still made it through with flying colors. Law review and all that.

Frankly, this blog is a must-read for law students.
1.26.2007 11:29pm
Along the same lines, I owe a great deal to Professor Volokh's Academic Legal Writing book. I entered law school as a science major with little experience writing anything but lab reports. I was afraid to take seminar classes because I dreaded having to write a research paper. Last year I finally took the plunge, armed with Professor Volokh's book, and wrote two papers that received A's. As his book suggested, I entered these papers in legal essay contests, and both won me a cash prize and a publication in a respected journal. I strongly suspect that these papers were instrumental in getting me a terrific appellate clerkship as well, since I chose my seminar professors as recommenders. This book is definitely the best investment I made in law school, and I highly recommend it to any law student. Thanks, Professor Volokh!
1.27.2007 12:07am
I'll echo everyone here. I'm a casual reader/commenter, and hope to go to law school one day. I'm taking paralegal classes as a hobby, but I've also found this blog to be incredible! Thanks for sharing, I thought I was weird for feeling that way about a blog!!
1.27.2007 12:46am
Tom Tildrum:
{Snort}. Which one of Prof. Volokh's classes is Mr. Levin in?
1.27.2007 1:49am
Armen (mail) (www):
Huh. I must say, my grades have taken a dip since reading the VC. And I think that's the best compliment I can pay this blog. Wireless in the classroom...
1.27.2007 4:06am
What a kiss fest .............

I know some of ya are libertarians suckin me away from what I thought were natural Republican party loyalties. Seemingly what I thought was Republican now seems more [ Libby ]{can't help this}

As educators you've certainly expanded beyond your institutions.
1.27.2007 4:35am
I'm waiting for the e-mail from the Supreme Court clerk that says "your blawg helped me write my cert pool memos."
1.27.2007 9:09am
frankcross (mail):
The blog cures cancer.
Chuck Norris reads and memorizes this blog
1.27.2007 10:35am
JohnQ (mail):
Yes, before I began reading the Volokh Conspiracy I was depressed, lonely, clueless on law exams, despised by my girlfriend, laughed at by my peers.

And then I began reading the Volokh Conspiracy. Slowly, day by day, things changed. My intellectual powers sharpened. My legal insight grew deeper. I became more handsome. My girlfriend withdrew her restraining order. Most importantly, my grades improved.

Some of this may be the natural by-product of sheer fantasy and schizophrenia, or the 20 dollars I've received for this post.

But I know... I just know... that the cumulative hours I've spent avoiding my law school work and tuning out the professor in class while reading this blog made essential contributions.

Thanks Volokh Conspiracy!
1.27.2007 12:48pm
Jake (Guest):
One law student in Denver didn't read this blog, and he got run over by a truck and paralyzed for life. Even worse, his GPA fell by over half a point! Do you really want to take that chance?
1.27.2007 1:13pm
Siona Sthrunch (mail):
This blog has jumped the shark.
1.27.2007 3:31pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
I've been reading this blog since long before I got into law school and it didnt help my grades in the slightest.
1.27.2007 4:00pm
qwerty (mail):
i love VC, but if reading a blog (any blog) increased your grades by leaps and bounds, you must have started with a pretty low baseline.
1.27.2007 4:01pm
For me the VC provides leisure than can be rationalized as moving toward the greater goal of becoming a lawyer. It's not quite the guilt trip of playing playstation instead of outlining.

I also second the notion that the VC is a magnet for articulate and smart comments and discussion. I think this is in large part because of the way the material is presented, filtering out some of the average idiotic commenters that plague the internet.
1.27.2007 6:45pm
Orangutan (mail):
The VC makes up for my adjunct professors.

Fourth tier baby!
1.28.2007 8:38am
GG (mail):
With that kind of natural a$$ kissing ability, Mr. Levin should go far in his chosen profession.
1.28.2007 12:12pm
Visitor Again:
Had the VC been around when I went to law school, I'd be sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court now.

Instead, I spent my time watching Gump Worsley tending goal for the Montreal Canadiens. Gump holds the NHL record for most career losses by a goaltender, but only because he played for the lowly New York Rangers for a decade. With Montreal, he won four Stanley Cups and two Vezina trophies. He was afraid of flying, but not of facing pucks flying at him at 100 miles per hour without a mask. He was a little man, but had a huge heart and played 21 seasons at the top level, until he was 45. Well done, Gump. The Gumper died on Friday. May he rest in peace.
1.28.2007 5:27pm