Law prof pay has dropped 24% in real dollars this decade

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Law prof pay has dropped 24% in real dollars this decade

Average law professor pay has decreased 24% in real terms from 2013 to 2022, according to a law professor’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Image from Shutterstock.

Average law professor pay has decreased 24% in real terms from 2013 to 2022, according to a law professor’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average pay in 2022 dollars was $136,000 last year, down from a peak of $179,000 in 2013, according to an analysis posted on Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports by Michael Simkovic, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

The pay decrease was most pronounced for the lowest-paid faculty. At the 25th percentile, law professor pay decreased 34% in 2022 dollars, declining from $95,761 in 2013 to $63,330 in 2022.

During the same period, law professor employment stagnated, decreasing from an estimated 14,500 law professors employed in 2013 to 14,200 in 2022, Simkovic said. The number of law school applicants is also decreasing, declining from 91,000 in 2010 to 64,000 in 2022.

The analysis defines law professors as “law teachers, post-secondary” who work at “colleges, universities and professional schools” in the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data. The numbers may include clinical faculty if they are not classified as lawyers by their employers, Simkovic said.

Last paragraph changed at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 to clarify that the definition of law professors is from the analysis.



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