LII’s 2022 in Review
The Legal Information Institute welcomed more than 47 million unique visitors to our website in 2022, that’s five million more than last year and an increase of over 12%. A lot of that increase can be attributed to the maturation of some of the projects we’ve been telling you about in recent years. So, we thought we’d give you an update on our progress on those fronts.
So let’s count down the top three LII collections by percent traffic increase for 2022:
Third Place: Wex
Our third busiest collection was busier than ever in 2022, with 40% more user sessions than in 2021. Ever since 2020 when we started the project as a way to employ more students who lost their summer jobs due to COVID-19, we’ve been actively improving this collection by using student workers to revise existing Wex articles and create new ones. And 2022 was no exception, as we improved or added 1,619 definitions. LII staffer Nichole McCarthy supervises the impressive amounts of student labor needed to make that kind of impact, and her colleague Valarie Kimber ensures they all get signed up and paid properly for their work through Cornell University.
Second Place: Women & Justice Collection
Though a much smaller collection than Wex, the Women & Justice Collection is no less important. Run by LII staffer Jocelyn Hackett, this collection of law from around the globe was the destination for about 58% more user sessions in 2022 than in 2021. We were able to hire some young Ukrainian lawyers to add content from their besieged nation, and those resources began to gain traction by year-end. Perhaps more unexpected is the growth in interest in resources from the Philippines. Other high-growth resources included the Indian Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013, the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, and a 1996 battered-women-syndrome-defense case from California, a pattern that we believe points to the value of maintaining a variety of topics from across the globe.
First Place: State Regulations
In 2021, we added a sizable new collection when we published the regulations of all 50 states in our role as members of the Code Improvement Commission, which is headed by Public.Resource.Org. In 2022, usage of that new collection more than doubled. In fact, our State Regulations collection saw 152% more sessions in 2022 than in its debut year of 2021.
Honorable mention: Our Homepage
Though it’s not a “collection,” our homepage saw a 65% increase in sessions in 2022 versus 2021. Those who’ve visited that page since our 30th Anniversary have seen a revamped page with a new look and feel that has permeated to the entire website. Spearheaded by LII staffer Neli Karabelova, our arguably-overdue brand refresh gives us a cleaner new look that is nowhere more evident than the homepage.
Looking forward to 2023, we have a number of exciting projects that we’re ready to talk about:
First up is the expansion of our definition identification feature from the Code of Federal Regulations into our aforementioned State Regulations, a project led by LII staffer Dr. Sylvia Kwakye and relying on the expertise of Cornell Masters of Engineering students. Readers are already finding the definitions in the federal regulations to be quite useful, with 20% more sessions in the definitions than in 2022.
We’re also excited about a new dataset, prepared by LII staffer Matt Carey, which is an extraction of Standards Incorporated by Reference appearing in the state regulations. This work has exciting ramifications not only for those looking to find and understand the law, but also for researchers attempting to track and explain the pervasiveness of privately-owned standards, which are often difficult for the public to find and access affordably, into the regulations that govern most facets of commercial activity in this country.
Another collection in which we hope that invested technical effort will yield increased public usage is in our newly enhanced version of the Congressional Research Service’s U.S. Constitution Annotated (CONAN). Changes in the source data made this a much more complicated undertaking than we’d hoped, but thanks in no small part to indefatigable new LII staffer Eric Gullufsen, we were able to get it done. Early indications were that traffic to topics in the news supported keeping the collection up to date. Thus far, we’re heartened to see many-multiple increases in readership for articles “Commander in Chief Power and Doctrine and Practice“, “Taxing Power“, “Regulation of the Media“, and (not too surprisingly) “Right to an Abortion“.
Finally, we’ll leave you with a few testimonials from our recent fundraising campaign:
“I have been getting legal information from LII for YEARS. You do very important work, making so much information available to the public. LOVE the SCOTUS reports. Keep up the good work.”
“It is a great site; very informative, useful and easy to access. Thank you!”
“Thanks for providing easy access to statutes and regulations.”
“The Legal Information Institute is an incredibly valuable, free source. I use it frequently in my work as a reporter and editor. I have included links to the Institute’s explanations in my articles far more times than I ever could count.”
Craig & Sara
Craig Newton & Sara Frug