Gin & juice.

More from the SF Gate: highest paid people in the UC system. And yes, we have some serious bling babies in our midst.

Salary / total pay in 2004:
Michael Schill: $265,833 / $535,833
Neil Netanel: $180,000 / $351,812
Mark Grady: $225,000 / $343,300
Katherine Stone: $193,600 / $298,410
Khaled Abou El Fadl: $180,000 / $241,158
Joel Handler: $215,000 / $235,998
Stephen Yeazell: $220,000 / $234,999
Devon Carbado: $165,000 / $233,298
Samuel Thompson: $189,600 / $231,733
Richard Abel: $215,000 / $230,000
Mark Greenberg: $125,000 / $228,305
Daniel Lowenstein: $185,000 / $226,111
Grant Nelson: $210,300 / $225,299
Russell Robinson: $125,000 / $224,260
Stephen Munzer: $190,000 / $209,999
Lynn LoPucki: $194,800 / $209,800
Noah Zatz: $125,000 / $208,929
Grace Blumberg: $191,200 / $206,19
Eugene Volokh: $154,700 / $204,950
Lynn Stout: $189,600 / $204,599
David Binder: $189,600 / $204,599

Some of these people started at UCLA in 2004 (Schill, Netanel) so they have fat one-time moving bonuses packed into their compensation. It makes me think I should start indexing my teaching evals to salary. “The class was pretty good, but considering how much we pay this dude, I expected nicer Powerpoint slides.”

If you want to know what all the other law professors make, here’s the law faculty pay scale.

Now, law professors are somewhat fond of griping about their salaries in relation to the expected earnings of the 25-year-olds entering big law firms each year. To this I say: all of you seem to severely discount the value of tenure.

The big firm associate gets paid well, but he’s likely to get burned out & quit long before his 7th year, and trade down to a more enjoyable (but less lucrative) job.

Whereas the tenured professor gets to collect her salary every year ... not subject to performance reviews ... forever. No questions asked. Plus, there seem to be pretty liberal policies supporting extracurricular consulting and teaching very little certain semesters (like, zero). Most people in America would call this a sweet deal.

So the next time you hear the whining of tenured professors, raise your hand and say: Boo. Fuckin. Hoo. Baby.

(props to TW)

16 Nov 05


You are very right. But you left out two very important facts: 1) They work 9 months out of the year; 2) These guys are on sweet pension plans.

The California teachers pension plan website has a nifty benefits calculator. ( (I’m not sure what plan UC professors are on, it might be calpers, but I’m sure the benefit calculation is similar).

Take Professor Nelson as an example. Let’s say he retires making $225K after 25 years of service (probably a modest estimate). The calculator tells me he will take home $135K / yr. in pension for the rest of his life. How much would your average private sector loser have to stash in his 401K to get that kind of return when he retires? Answer: About $2.7 million (assuming 5% return).


Posted by: at November 16, 2005 10:56 PM

And another thing—when those pension funds become insolvent because they promise these ridiculous benefits for limited contributions, who is going to have to bridge that gap? Taxpayers, that’s who. Yes on 75!!!

Posted by: at November 16, 2005 11:07 PM

Reminds me of my teachers growing up who complained ad nauseam about having to make their own copies, how little the get paid, how they can’t assign papers because they don’t have time to grade them. One day my chemistry teacher gave us a sales pitch on why we should all consider being teachers. His exact words are a little fuzzy but the jist of the matter was

- He makes 75k/year

- He works 170 days a year

- He gets every holiday off

- He has free medical/dental coverage

- EVERYBODY in his family has free medical/dental

- In his words - “they couldn’t fire me unless I molested somebody”

- He can retire after 22 years with a full pension.

- He can call in sick any day he wants.

- He works 5 50-minute periods a day max.

This was probably ten years ago so some of this might have changed and this teacher was in a non-LA Unified school (LAUSD pays about 10% on average less and has introduced a very small copay on some medical although everything else is comparable to my knowledge). Having subbed in LA Unified I was given the sales pitch and the “real deal” by many long-time teachers including the fact that your insurance is paid in full even after you retire! I believe in paying teachers a competitive wage and trying to recruit as many qualified teachers as possible. I also know first hand about the extra time, patience and dedication it takes to make it out there as a teacher. Looking out at classes of 40 students (which made it practically impossible to teach) I always wondered how many kids would be in that class if the teachers in the school taught all three semesters instead of two (multi-track school) and got benefits more similar to those in the private sector. To give you an idea - if CA teachers had a regular copay for their own and their family’s medical, not only would every kid in CA have brand-new textbooks every year - they could keep them. I also wondered how many more qualified teachers would be drawn to teaching if they front-ended some of the money they were spending on the massive benefit/pension packages instead of offering me 43.5k/year to start. 60-70k/year out of college is very doable if you ever sat down and actually did the math with the budget. But the teachers unions would never allow that. Why not, you ask? Ahhh . . . at least you’re starting to ask the right questions.

Posted by: TR at November 16, 2005 11:52 PM

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