Michigan Law School, a state school, charges $46,586 per year in tuition. It then conservatively expects students to incur another $18K-plus in living expenses to bring the price tag for one year’s worth of a Michigan legal education to $64,716 for in-state residents. That prices out to $194,148 for the full three years, and that’s assuming that Michigan doesn’t raise tuition while you are there.

And Michigan is one of the few places that can, more or less, claim that it’s worth it. To be sure, it’s not worth it for all the students. Remember, Louisville Law Dean Jim Chen just told us that people need to make three to six times their law school’s yearly tuition in annual salary if they go to school on loans and want to one day be financially sound homeowners. Some Michigan grads are banking upwards of $279,516, but certainly not all.

Still, one would expect a significant amount of that high tuition goes toward making Michigan Law what it is, and keeping the professional opportunities rolling for Michigan graduates.

Apparently, keeping Michigan Law what it is involves paying Michigan Law Dean Evan Caminker quite a tidy sum….

Dean Evan Caminker makes almost half a million a year — $457,964, to be exact — and he might be underpaid compared to other people who teach at Michigan. He ranks 11th on the list of University of Michigan salaries. The ABA Journal sums up two Ann Arbor.com stories about Wolverine faculty salaries:

The law school dean at the University of Michigan makes an annual salary of $457,964.

That puts Evan Caminker in 11th place among the school’s highest-paid employees, after its current business school dean ($550,000), former b-school dean, who remains on the faculty ($448,155), medical school dean ($524,509) and engineering school dean ($470,195), reports AnnArbor.com.

Jesus. Did any of these people beat Ohio State?

You know, I don’t think anybody should begrudge Dean Caminker his salary. He could probably make a similar salary at other schools, and obviously he’s on the scale of what Michigan pays to its deans. I bet the engineering school doesn’t bring in the kind of money the law school does to the University of Michigan. These salary figures are surprising, but you can’t hate on people for making as much as they possibly can.

UPDATE (10:45 AM): And Evan Caminker is also a hottie. Lat reminds me that Dean Caminker was the male winner of our hottest law school deans contest in 2006 — an honor that he graciously accepted. Research shows, of course, that hot lawyers earn more than their non-hot colleagues.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

And the game here is disgusting. While elected officials squeeze education funding and the American Bar Association stands idly by, universities and professional schools are able to charge whatever they want for their degree programs. The education market has become completely detached from the value of the degree, because any student — every student — can just borrow what they need. Borrow it, pay it back, don’t pay it back, who cares, the university still gets its money.

One of these days, the bubble is going to burst. I bet even Dean Caminker knows that. I hope he’s saving some of this loot for the inevitable rainy day.

Michigan Law Dean Makes Almost $458K, Ranks 11th on School’s Pay Scale [ABA Journal]
Two University of Michigan dean positions see six-figure salary increases [Ann Arbor.com]

Earlier: Don’t Defend Your Law School Until You’re Earning Three Times Its Yearly Tuition


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