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Career profile Law Professor

Also known as Adjunct Professor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Business Law Professor, Clinical Law Professor, Instructor, Law Instructor, Law Professor, Legal Writing Professor, Professor

Law Professor

Also known as Adjunct Professor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Investigative
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$41,650 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Law and Government
  • Education and Training
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, assignments, papers, and oral presentations.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, or handouts.
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What does a Law Professor do?

Law Professors teach courses in law.

In addition, Law Professors includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

What kind of tasks does a Law Professor perform regularly?

Law Professors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Evaluate and grade students' class work, assignments, papers, and oral presentations.
  • Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, or handouts.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations or assign this work to others.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as anatomy, therapeutic recreation, and conditioning theory.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, giving presentations at conferences, and serving on committees in professional associations.
  • Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
  • Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in scholarly journals, books, or electronic media.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
  • Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks and performance pieces.
  • Advise students on academic and vocational curricula, and on career issues.
  • Assign cases for students to hear and try.
  • Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
  • Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
  • Act as advisers to student organizations.

The above responsibilities are specific to Law Professors. More generally, Law Professors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Coaching and Developing Others
Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

What is a Law Professor salary?

The median salary for a Law Professor is $116,430, and the average salary is $134,760. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Law Professor salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Law Professors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Law Professors earn less than $41,650 per year, 25% earn less than $67,640, 75% earn less than $181,790, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Law Professors is expected to change by 11.1%, and there should be roughly 2,000 open positions for Law Professors every year.

Median annual salary
$116,430
Typical salary range
$41,650 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
11.1%

What personality traits are common among Law Professors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Law Professor are usually higher in their Social, Investigative, and Enterprising interests.

Law Professors typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Law Professors typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Law Professors typically have strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Law Professor tend to value Independence, Working Conditions, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Law Professors very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Law Professors very strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Law Professors very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Law Professors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, initiative, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Law Professors, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Law Professors need?

Many Law Professors have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Law Professors may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Law Professors

  • 0.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 1.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 2.0% completed some college coursework
  • 1.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 32.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 47.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Law Professors

Law Professors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as law and government, education and training, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Law Professors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Important Abilities needed by Law Professors

Law Professors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Law Professors need abilities such as oral expression, written comprehension, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Law Professors, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Law Professors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Law Professors frequently use skills like speaking, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Law Professors, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Instructing
Teaching others how to do something.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.