Following up on this morning's post, How Many Law Professors Make $330k?, Myron Grauer (Capital) notes that Paul Volcker based his claim that "at $165,200, district judge salaries fall more than 50% below what many law school deans or their top professors make" on a similar statement on page 2 of Chief Justice Roberts' 2006 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary (1/1/07). As it happens, Chief Justice Roberts, in turn, based his statement on the Report of the National Commission on the Public Service, Urgent Business for America: Revitalizing the Federal Government for the 21st Century 22-23 (Jan. 2003), chaired by Paul Volcker.
Here is the relevant language from the 2003 Volcker Commission report:
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer pointed out in testimony before the Commission that, in 1969, the salaries of district court judges had just been raised to $40,000 while the salary of the dean of Harvard Law School was $33,000 and that of an average senior professor at the school was $28,000.
That relationship has now been erased. A recent study by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts of salaries of professors and deans at the twenty-five law schools ranked highest in the annual U.S. News and World Report survey found that the average salary for deans of those schools was $301,639. The average base salary for full professors at those law schools was $209,571, with summer research and teaching supplements typically ranging between $33,000 and $80,000. Federal district judges currently earn $150,000.
Adjusted for inflation, the $301,639 average dean's salary at the Top 25 law schools would be worth $338,023 in today's dollars, while the $209,571 full professor base salary would be $234,850 which, when combined with the inflation-adjusted summer stipends of $36,981 - $89,650, would put the total compensation of full professors at Top 25 law schools at $271,831 - $324,500.
Can that possibly be right -- is the range of summer money at Top 25 schools really $36,981 - $89,650? I hope some faculty at Top 25 schools will enlighten us in the comments.