When it comes to law professor salaries, there’s just one rule: the bigger tuition, the sweeter they’re payin’. Annual wages vary from region to region, whether you work at a public or private institution, and whether you’re a visiting, associate, or tenured professor. But by far the biggest impacts on professor salaries are due to recent tuition hikes, which have netted law professors a healthy salary range of $90k-140k, some entering the mid $200k’s. If you become a law school dean, those figures can nearly double.
That’s not even including the royalties professors get from their published works, and there’s always something to write about. One of the jobs of law professors is to collaborate with each other–which is another way of saying “tolerate each others’ yarns”–and write casebooks for areas of their study. The more authoritative the casebook, the better it sells, the more royalties professors receive. And it doesn’t stop with one publication. The legal terrain fluctuates more unpredictably than Family Guy cutaways, so there’s always a reason to come out with a new edition. That’s the kind of marketing scheme that publishers’ mouths water over.
Getting summers off is a classic teaching goody. But what would you say to paid summers in Italy, France, England, China, or any other part of the world with a university, with a little teaching on the side? American universities and their professors are prized commodities in the international community, and law professors are only happy to serve as visiting professors abroad, which means talking about the Constitution for a couple hours three days a week and sightseeing the rest of the time. Then again, if you convince your employers that vacationing is in the Constitution, you can take your class with you and double your productivity.