Salary Disparities At Boalt

There has been a burst of activity on the University of California faculty salary expose front here, here, here , here, and here. Most exciting for the law porn crown (Playprof?) is the list of top earners among UC law faculty. We discover, in this list, that of the 16 top earning tenured full time faculty at Boalt, all but two are men. Compare that with the overall faculty: 13 of 51 full professors (according to my quick count on the Boalt website) are women. Perhaps this can be explained by seniority and market competition. In any case, I suspect that a few folks – perhaps Kathryn Abrams or Pamela Samuelson – will have some questions for Dean Edley (who is inexplicably not on this list but is listed elsewhere at 280 large per year.)

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4 Responses

  1. Dylan says:

    “Perhaps this can be explained by seniority and market competition.”

    Perhaps it can also be explained by the same phenomenon that makes women disproportionately rare among the top grade earners at the best law schools.

  2. Ugh says:

    I don’t think Pam Samuelson cares what she makes, her husband’s loaded.

  3. Pete says:

    Even more damning than the statistic that only two of the top sixteen are women: NONE of the top THREE are women! Proof positive of wrongful discrimination!

    I found it interesting that someone would use “top 16” as the measure. Checking the list, I confirm that the 17th on the list is a woman, which drives the percentage of top-paid women up again. Rather than using “top 16,” someone wanting to make maximum use of statistics should have selected “top 33” which shows even worse percentages of top-earning women.

    This is all not to comment on, much less deny, the problem, but to show a squirrely use of statistics and how it may ultimately erode one’s credibility and detract from a meritorious point.

  4. Dan Filler says:

    As it happens, your critique makes matters worse for Boalt. The 17th person you mention – a woman – is an “acting professor.” Once you mix in the acting professors, the total number of faculty increases and the data actually looks WORSE for Boalt. In that case, 17 of 56 full profs and “acting professors” are women, and only 3 of 17 of the top salaried folks are female.

    Quantitative empirical evidence must be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism generally. That was a focus of my Indiana Law Journal article abotut Megan’s Law (available on SSRN.) I believe that my choices here, however, were no more squirrely than the choices of most quantitative empirical researchers.