Law Professor Career Overview
Law professors are hired by law schools to teach courses, advise students, and write academic papers. The career goal of most law professors is to achieve tenure, which means they cannot be fired without just cause by the university. Major factors in achieving tenure are the level of instruction given to students and the quality of academic writing and published articles.
Law Professor Education
Law professors must hold a Juris Doctor (JD) degree (the terminal degree in law), and gain experience in their field of interest by working in a law firm, corporation, or private practice. Sometimes law professors hold more than one graduate degree--for example, a professor of business law might also hold a master's degree in business administration. Online degree programs are available for most subjects.
Law Professor Employment
Currently there are 1.7 million post-secondary teachers in the country teaching across all disciplines. Most are employed by four-year or two-year colleges and universities, though many work for trade and technical schools.
Law Professor Job Description
Employment of post-secondary teachers is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the national average. Each year enrollment increases, increasing the demand for professors. Of course, not all of this demand is specific to law professors, but they should be affected by the upswing.
Law Professor Salary Range
Because law professors have the lucrative alternative of practicing law, their salaries are among the highest for post-secondary teachers. *Salaries for post-secondary teachers as a whole fall in the following range:
Bottom 10 percent: $27,590
Top 10 percent: $113,450
*Bureau of Labor Statistics