Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 10, 2006

More on Law Prof Salaries

Brian Leiter (Texas) mines the salary data we blogged yesterday (here) and notes:

Knowing something about salaries at Texas, and at Virginia (where the data is also public), I must say that I was surprised that salaries were not generally higher at Berkeley and UCLA. Perhaps some of the surprising disparities in compensation, especially at UCLA, were known previously; but if not, I also imagine the publication of this data will be sending a lot of folks to the Dean's office!

Brian lists the Top 10 Law Prof (non-dean) salaries in the University of California system, which indeed are dramatically lower than those at Virginia:

Top 10 Law Prof Salaries at California and Virginia

University of California

University of Virginia





Mark Grady (UCLA)


Peter Low


Stephen Yeazell (UCLA)


George Triantis


Richard Abel (UCLA)


Kenneth Abraham


Joel Handler (UCLA)


Robert Scott


Grant Nelson (UCLA)


Michael Klarman


Robert Hillman (Davis)


Lillian Bevier


Melvin Eisenberg (Boalt)


Paul Mahoney


David Rubinfeld (Boalt)


Graham Lilly


Jesse Choper (Boalt)


Michael Dooley


Daniel Farber (Boalt)


Elizabeth Scott


Rosa Brooks (Virginia) notes:

[T]here's no reason UC law faculty should not want to be paid as much as peers in Austin or Charlottesville-- particularly given the much higher costs of living they face in LA and the Bay Area. But I'm afraid the articles will send some people running to the California State legislature, shouting that professors get paid too much.

For more on Law Prof salaries, see the latest SALT survey with median salary data for 94 law schools.

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Bear in mind that the U.Va. salaries may be drawn from specific endowed professorships. As far as being "too high," consider that the law school graduates can come pretty close to this right out of school, knowing nothing at all - except what these professors taught them.

- a U.Va. law alumnus

Posted by: Smith | Jul 17, 2008 10:52:02 AM

UVA Law is completely private. None of this money comes from the public. It all comes from tuition and donors (alums, corporate, etc.)

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 14, 2008 8:07:21 PM

You guys are idiots. These are professionals in the absolute top of their field. They assuredly get paid significantly less than if they worked in the private sector. Look at the qualifications that they doubtless possess. Guaranteed that 95% have degrees from the top 5 law schools in the country, have clerked for supreme court justices, and published significant work. Law professorships are some of the most sought after jobs on the planet.

Posted by: kellen norwood | Feb 27, 2006 5:31:54 PM

This is insane! There is something very twisted when a college professor gets paid a quarter of a million dollars for teaching law and a quarter that for teaching most other subjects. This is indicative of a sick society that has allowed the legal profession to run rampant. Obscene.

Posted by: Heidi Monson | Feb 11, 2006 4:27:26 PM

As a recent graduate of the Univ. of FL's law school, I find it absurd to see law professors making such high salaries. Especially at state law school. I can only imagine what the professors make at my state school. Now I understand why I owe nearly a $100k for an education that has yet to produce a job for me. I thought lawyers were attracted to teaching because of better working conditions. Yet it now seems there is a corporate salary to go along with a professor's comparatively light workload.

Posted by: UFlawgrad | Feb 11, 2006 9:44:49 AM

In the sciences, high paid professors are usually bringing in grant money which more than covers their salaries. I doubt that this is the case in the law profession. I don't think the UC salaries are overly-high although they're definitely high end. It's crazy that Virginia is paying so much, considering that the cost of living is lower. Perhaps they justify it because the regional market rate for lawyers in the area (near Wash DC) is higher but is it the best use of taxpayers money? I would suspect they could get highly qualified faculty at the same rate as what UC pays. (If the Virginia faculty are bringing in grant or consultation money that covers their salaries, perhaps there is some justification for the salaries, but in that case, at least some portion of their salaries should be contingent on them bringing in external money.)

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 10, 2006 11:59:02 AM