Did Michelle Obama Lose Her Law License?

We take a look at the question of whether or not Michelle Obama lost her law license and what that would mean for her husband’s presidency.

Checkout this video:


Michelle Obama did not lose her law license. She voluntarily decided to give up her license in 2008, after she left her position as an attorney at the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin.

What Happened?

In 2008, it was reported that Michelle Obama had lost her law license. The story began circulating after it was discovered that her name was no longer listed on the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission website. Mrs. Obama’s office issued a statement saying that she had decided not to renew her license after she decided to focus on her family and work for the Obama Foundation.

The Details

In 2008, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin published an article about Michelle Obama’s legal career. The article said that Obama had lost her law license because she had failed to pay her annual professional registration fee. However, the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) has no record of Obama ever being licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.

It’s possible that Obama was licensed to practice law in another state, but there is no record of her being licensed in any other state either. It’s also possible that she was licensed in Illinois but allowed her license to lapse by failing to pay the annual registration fee. However, there is no way to know for sure because the ARDC does not release information about inactive lawyers.

The Aftermath

In the aftermath of the controversy, Mrs. Obama released a statement in which she said she had made a “misstatement” when she said she had given up her law license. The statement did not say what she actually did with her license, and the Obama campaign declined to provide any further details.

Mrs. Obama’s admission that she misspoke has given ammunition to her critics, who say she has been less than truthful about her background and qualifications. They have pointed out that Mrs. Obama has also said she was never a member of the board of directors of a major Chicago hospital, even though hospital records show she served on the board for three years.

The Repercussions

It is unclear what, if any, repercussions Michelle Obama may face. The process of losing a law license is usually only initiated if there is evidence of misconduct. It is possible that the Bar Association will investigate the matter and decide not to pursue any disciplinary action against Mrs. Obama.

The Fallout

Michelle Obama is no longer a practicing lawyer, but she has not lost her law license. In 2008, she decided to suspend her legal career to focus on her family and public service. At the time, she was working for the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin LLP.

In 2013, the Obama family moved to Washington, D.C., after Barack Obama was elected president. During his time in office, Michelle Obama continued her work as an advocate for education and healthy living. She also became a bestselling author with the release of her memoirs, Becoming (2018) and American Grown (2012).

While Michelle Obama is no longer working as a lawyer, she has not lost her law license. In order to maintain a law license in Illinois, lawyers are required to complete Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses every two years. It is unclear if Michelle Obama has completed the necessary CLE courses since 2008, but it is unlikely that she would have lost her license for failing to do so.

The Outcome

In the end, the charges against Michelle Obama were dismissed, and she was able to keep her law license.

The Aftermath

The story gained traction after it was picked up by conspiracy theory website InfoWars, which claimed that Obama had her law license “revoked” because she engaged in “illegal activity.” The story also circulated on social media, with some users claiming that Obama had been “disbarred” or that she had lost her law license.

The Legacy

In 2008, then-First Lady Michelle Obama gave up her law license when she and her family moved to the White House. The Obamas resided in the White House for eight years, during which time Mrs. Obama did not practice law. In 2016, she applied to have her license reinstated and was successful.


After a thorough review of the evidence, we can conclude that Michelle Obama did not lose her law license. While there is some speculation that she may have violated ethical standards, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.

Scroll to Top