We asked, over two thousand of you responded, and – as we will discuss further down in this post – we are already at work to try to implement some of your suggestions.  Many thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out our online survey.

We thought that some of you might be as interested as we were in the responses to the survey – which describe, among other things, who our readers are, where they work, how often they visit the blog, and what features they like the most.  (An even more detailed summary of the responses is available here.)

Just over half (51.7%) of the readers who responded are attorneys, while 12.3% of those who responded are law students.  As those numbers would suggest, over a third (36%) of those who responded are neither lawyers nor law students.  As a group, our readers are well-educated and legally savvy:  94.1% are college graduates, while 95.5% do not regard the blog as being “regularly written in language that is too technical.”

The government employs the largest share of our readers (34.7%) who responded; public interest lawyers make up 15.7% of our readers, followed by lawyers at large, medium-sized, and small law firms.  Almost half (49%) of our readers make time to read the blog daily (and 14.7% indicate that they read multiple times each day), while another 26.8% read at least weekly.   We’re pleased to report that many of our readers have been reading for a while:  over a quarter (26.4%) have been reading for more than five years, while 42.7% have been reading for at least two years.

Even more pleasing is that 83.5% of those who responded indicate that the blog is their “principal source” for information about the Court.  And virtually all of our readers (93.6%) reported that they regularly use the blog to keep up with “ongoing developments at the Supreme Court.”  The content on our blog that our readers regard as particularly valuable includes our case materials for cases argued on the merits at the Court (77.3% rated these as “very valuable”), our chronological posts (72.8%), live blogs (68.9%), information about the Court’s calendar (52.3%), our Plain English series (51.4%), and oral argument audio (50.1%).

We also received many helpful suggestions and comments.  We can’t take everyone’s advice, including because our readers often have different views on how we should do things, so that making a change to please one group of readers might annoy another group of readers.  Having said that, we are already at work to implement some of your ideas to make the blog more user friendly:

  • Clicking on the “jump” in a post (where it says “Continue reading”) now takes you to the top of the post, rather than going to the middle of the post.
  • Over the summer, we will tag and categorize posts and case pages to make it easier to search them by areas of the law – for example, Fourth Amendment, ERISA, bankruptcy, or tax.
  • Similarly, we will add categories for “opinion analysis” posts and our popular “Relist watch” feature to make them easier to find.
  • We are working on a new mobile site.
  • To make it easier to find particular briefs on the case pages, we hope to add color coding for merits briefs – for example, the petitioner’s opening brief will be light blue, the respondent’s brief will be red, and the petitioner’s reply brief will be yellow.
  • We are moving “This week at the Court,” our list of recently decided cases, our list of upcoming petitions, statistics, major cases of the Term, and Twitter to an accordion menu at the top of the sidebar.
  • We are replacing the horizontal menus with a simpler vertical menu.



Posted in Featured, What's Happening Now

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Survey results, SCOTUSblog (May. 17, 2013, 2:45 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/05/survey-results/