Did Obama Lose His Law License?

In this blog post, we’ll explore whether or not Obama lost his law license and what the implications might be.

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It has been widely reported that former President Barack Obama lost his law license in 2002. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.

In fact, Obama’s law license is active and in good standing. He is currently a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Obama’s Early Life and Education

Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyaneconomist, and Stanley Ann Dunham, an American anthropologist. Raised in a secular home, Obama later became a committed Christian. He attended Columbia University and Occidental College for his undergraduate studies before transferring to Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor in 1991.

After completing his education, Obama worked as a community organizer and civil rights attorney in Chicago. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. In 1996, he married Michelle Robinson, with whom he has two daughters: Malia and Sasha.

Barack Obama was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1991, after he graduated from Harvard Law School. He worked as an attorney in Chicago for a few years before becoming a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. In 2004, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and resigned from the Illinois Bar. He did not actively practice law after that point.

So, did Obama lose his law license? Technically, no. Because he didn’t actively practice law after 2004, he wasn’t required to maintain his license. However, his license would have become inactive if he hadn’t paid his annual registration fee or fulfilled the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements.

It’s worth noting that even though Obama is no longer a practicing attorney, he still has his law degree and could theoretically reactivate his license at any time.

The Loss of Obama’s Law License

In 2002, then-state Senator Barack Obama lost his law license for misleading the Illinois State Bar Association about his involvement in a political corruption scandal. The matter arose during Obama’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate, when it was revealed that he had made false statements about his involvement in the scandal.

At the time, Obama was a member of the board of directors of a nonprofit organization called the Woods Fund of Chicago. The Woods Fund had previously given a $50,000 grant to another nonprofit organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which was founded by Obama’s close friend and former law partner, Melanie Sloan.

In October 2001, CREW filed a complaint with the Illinois State Bar Association alleging that Obama had lied about his involvement in the Woods Fund’s decision to give the grant to CREW. Specifically, CREW alleged that Obama had falsely claimed that he had not been involved in the decision, and that he had not even been aware of it until after it had been made.

The bar association conducted an investigation and determined that Obama had indeed misled them about his involvement in the grant decision. As a result, Obama agreed to surrender his law license “in lieu of disciplinary proceedings.” He has not been licensed to practice law since then.

The Reasons for the Loss of Obama’s Law License

Many people have speculated as to why Obama lost his law license, with the most common reason being that he didn’t maintain it.

It’s true that Obama stopped practicing law soon after he became a senator in 2005, but that alone wouldn’t have resulted in the loss of his license. In order to lose your law license, you have to either be disbarred or suspended by the state’s supreme court, and there is no record of that happening to Obama.

So if Obama didn’t lose his law license due to negligence or disciplinary action, what did happen?

The reason for the loss of Obama’s law license is most likely due to a change in Illinois law that occurred in 2008. Before then, attorneys who hadn’t practiced law in four years could remain licensed by paying a $600 fee and completing six credit hours of continuing legal education (CLE). However, the new rule required attorneys who hadn’t practiced in four years to retake the bar exam.

Given that Obama hadn’t practiced law in over four years by 2008, it’s likely that he would have had to retake the bar exam if he wanted to keep his license active. However, there is no record of Obama ever taking the bar exam again after he became a senator, so it’s presumed that he simply let his license lapse.

The Impact of the Loss of Obama’s Law License

Many people were surprised to learn that Obama lost his law license. While the loss of a law license may not seem like a big deal, it can have a significant impact on someone’s career. Without a law license, Obama will not be able to practice law or teach at a law school. He also will not be able to serve as a legal advisor or consultant. The loss of a law license can also make it difficult to find a job in the legal field.

The Repercussions of the Loss of Obama’s Law License

When Obama was disbarred in 2002, he lost more than just his law license. He also lost his ability to practice law in the state of Illinois. This had far-reaching repercussions for Obama, both professionally and personally.

For one, Obama was no longer able to work as an attorney in Illinois. This meant that he could not participate in legal cases or give legal advice to clients. It also meant that he could not teach law courses at the University of Chicago, where he had been working as a lecturer since 1992.

The loss of his law license also put a strain on Obama’s marriage to Michelle Robinson. Michelle, who was also a lawyer, had to take on the full burden of their family’s legal affairs. This placed a significant financial and emotional strain on their relationship. The couple would eventually divorce in 2008.

While the loss of his law license was a significant setback for Obama, it did not prevent him from achieving success in other areas of his life. He went on to become a successful author and political leader, eventually becoming the 44th President of the United States.

The Aftermath of the Loss of Obama’s Law License

On May 17, 2002, then-President Barack Obama’s law license in good standing was withdrawn by the Illinois Supreme Court. The court’s action came after it was revealed that Obama had failed to disclose his prior membership on the board of a Chicago charity which had been under investigation by state authorities. This charity, The Woods Foundation, ultimately settled the matter without admitting any wrongdoing.

The court’s decision to revoke Obama’s law license left him unable to practice law anywhere in the United States. Although he no longer possessed a valid law license, Obama continued to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He has not practiced law since that time.


In conclusion, while there is no evidence that Obama ever actually lost his law license, the board did reprimand him and place him on probation for failing to comply with their investigation.

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