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Friday, February 10, 2006

Professing in Public Institutions

Talking about law professors' salaries seems to be all the rage.  Although the story, it seems,  "broke" -- in part -- to provoke surprise at how high certain salaries in the UC system are, the legal blawgosphere was very underwhelmed.  UC law professors are underpaid compared to their peers in many other public and private instititutions.  Adjusting for the cost of living, Bay Area professors, for example, are dramatically underpaid compared to their peers in Austin and Charlottesville. 

Tom Smith, commenting on The Right Coast, had this to say:  "The moral of the story for young prof persons coming up[] might be[:] consider the advantages of private institutions." 

Although I don't want to sound sanctimonious, I can't help but make a plug for the opposite conclusion: teaching in a public institution furnishes non-tangible but substantial rewards.  Admittedly, the UC law schools are closer than ever to complete privatization -- and the cost of UC law schools to in-state students is no longer the bargain it once was.  But there is something special, I think, about being part of a public school system -- and I take pride in teaching in the UC system.  The pensions ain't bad either.

Posted by Ethan Leib on February 10, 2006 at 11:07 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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