Friday, April 11, 2014

On Law Dean's Sacrificial Salaries

If you're like me, you're still mourning the fate of Louisiana College's law school venture, which began a few years ago and was put on standstill in 2012, unlike our secular bastions of faith in Irvine and Fort Wayne, which have thrived in bringing future lawyers to their regions.

In any event, here is a tragic article about the stalling of LC's law program, which cost around $5.5 million mostly due to investing in a wonderful building that was necessary to educate legal scholars.  In any event, the school's absence is depriving northern Louisiana of valuable legal education outputs that it DOES NOT HAVE.

Key to the stalling of the law school was that the dean at the time, J. Michael Johnson, resigned to take a "great job offer."  As it turns out, that great job offer was as counsel with the Liberty Institute, one of those super-cool non-profit advocacy groups that generally have tons of jobs for new graduates in areas like 1st amendment law.

Now back to the article:
Multiple sources connected to LC have reported that the school spent about $400,000 on salaries in the 18 months the law school had employees.
In addition, LC President Joe Aguillard’s base salary was raised from $179,159 to $190,813 in the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2010. Aguillard’s base was raised again, to $198,556 for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2012. Sources said those raises were necessary for Aguillard to earn more than J. Michael Johnson, founding dean of the law school.
Did you know it's a rule that your president has to make more than your law dean?  Did you know that a dean of a school not in operation will only land in the $160k range?  That's barely as much as a first-year associate at Skadden!

Such work is certainly necessary, and such a salary can be garnered by any practicing attorney with years of experience.  It takes a special sort of individual who forgo a lucrative private practice in order to face the daunting task of spending two years as a "founding dean" for a non-operational law school.  It is these sacrifices that make law deans noble creatures of academic sacrifice.  Why, if Louisiana College had paid any less, they may not have gotten a stellar candidate who could guide them to accreditation and operation.  Thank goodness they paid what they did.

Johnson left that gig to the Liberty Institute, whose general counsel at the time made around $150k according to available tax records, with "litigation directors" making around $130k.  Johnson was senior counsel.  That was a "great job" opportunity, I suppose, because the reprobates had won and Louisiana College's law program sunk deeper into the abyss of great ideas forgotten.  He's now left for private practice, apparently.

No comments:

Post a Comment