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May 14, 2012


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Brian Tamanaha


The data are woefully incomplete, as you know. Nearly all of the schools with the highest faculty salaries did not report. This holds not just for tier 1 schools but also lower ranked schools in NYC, SF, and Chicago. You will see this if you glance at prior SALT surveys. Here are the top full professor salaries in the 2008 survey: Michigan ($254,500), Harvard ($252,450), Minnesota ($220,000) and Emory ($212,000)--far above any salaries reported in the current survey. Going back even further, almost none of the 40 highest paying law schools in 1994-95 (the last time the ABA collected salary data) now report their salaries to the survey. Perhaps the most interesting take away from this year's survey is not the obvious one that top tier (and big city) law schools pay more but that fewer high paying schools are willing to disclose their salaries to SALT (although they have been reluctant all along).


Anita Bernstein

Al, thanks for slogging through the SALT numbers and putting them into context for readers of this blog. I wonder (not to make a claim on your time!): could you collaborate with SALT to generate more transparency? Brian notes that schools would just as soon not share their salary data. Fair enough--nothing in it for them--but disclosure is a public good. Maybe The Faculty Lounge could publish the names of schools that used to disclose back in the ABA-collecting era but now don't?

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