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New Year’s Traditions

A ball dropping in Times Square. Making resolutions. Drinking champagne. Singing Auld Lang Syne. If you’re Russian, giving presents.  And, of course, the LII emailing to ask for your support with a last-minute donation match.  

Again this year, a generous donor has offered to match all donations for the rest of 2021.  If you haven’t had a chance, we hope you’ll take a moment before the festivities to make a gift.  


The New Year causes us all to look both back and forward. A year ago at this time, we were mostly looking backward on the dismal year that was 2020 — and looking forward to some peace and quiet! Although we’d expected a certain amount of post-election wrap-up traffic on 3 U.S.C.  § 15 (Counting electoral votes in Congress), little did we know that within a week, we’d have a traffic spike on 18 U.S.C.  § 2383 (Rebellion or insurrection) and § 2384 (Seditious conspiracy), or  § 2385 (Advocating overthrow of Government) – nor, within two weeks, on the U.S.  Constitution Annotated pages on impeachment. We also had no idea that two weeks before year’s end, our parent institution would make international news for a COVID shutdown.

But if you’d asked us to think about it carefully a year ago, what we would have hoped – and maybe even been so bold as to predict – was that as we moved forward on original content and technical innovation, members of the public would continue to look to us to help them find and understand the law. And looking forward, what excites us the most about the future is the impact our projects will have for the people who make use of our work.  

And here’s where you can help right now. Twice as much. We couldn’t have gotten this far without the stalwart support of our readers. Please consider giving a gift that will allow us to provide the law to the public – hopefully on happier, more optimistic topics than in 2021, but regardless, on topics that continue to be relevant to people’s families, businesses, and civic lives.  


Thank you, 

Sara Frug


Legal Information Institute

Join the Ranks of the Almost Famous

I like to pass on to our team the specific things that donors say about how our work makes a difference. So, first thing in the morning (or nearly first thing) on every work day this time of year, I look at the donor comments from the previous day.     

Make a Gift (and maybe a Comment, too?)

When I see donors’ comments, I also see their names. While I admit that most just pass me by, some definitely get my attention. I often recognize the names of longtime supporters and even the occasional family friend (Betsy in Portland, I know you’re out there!). I admit those are my favorite. But my brain also stops automatically on any “famous” name, though in the vast majority of cases it’s just a “regular” person who happens to have a notable moniker (the addresses provided are the best clue, as well as the fact that many of these names belong to fictional characters, deceased folks, and even an entire UK territory!).  

This year I’ve been keeping track of these notable names, and we’re all getting a chuckle out of my informal “Almost Famous” list. I thought you might, too. Again, none of these people are the actual “celebrity” (term used loosely) but are instead just folks like you who appreciate free legal information online. So far this year, I’ve noticed:

  • Not the gunfighter Jesse James or the politician Charles “Charlie” Wilson
  • Not the sportswriter Peter King or the reality tv chef Michael Simon 
  • Not the musical luminaries Richard Rogers and John Davidson
  • Not the island of Diego Garcia
  • Not box-office poison John Carter (of Mars)  [didn’t see that one?  Don’t worry, no one did.]
  • And not comedians Chris Elliot, Kevin Hart, or Steven Wright (and especially not Stephen Wright)

The point here might simply be that I unapologetically recognize the names of more comedians than anything else; but, my hope is that this list demonstrates that actual humans (like me!) look at — and very much appreciate — every single donation that LII receives to support our work. 

If you rely on free and open access to law, please consider making a donation and maybe even leaving us a comment of support. If you ARE famous, we’ll never tell. If not, that’s perfectly okay too.  🙂


Craig Newton: Not the mayor of Norcross, GA.