Skip to comments.What happened to Michelle Obama's law license ?
Posted on 08/04/2009 9:00:27 PM PDT by RobinMasters
Why did Michelle Obama give up her license to practice law in 1993?
Records listed at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois list her status as "voluntarily inactive and not authorized to practice law."
It further states that Michelle license is "on court ordered inactive status."
The statement has many bloggers wondering why a court would issue an order to stop Michelle Obama from practicing law, and some have even suggested the first lady faced may have been facing allegations of misconduct.
Michelle Obama, known as Michelle Robinson at the time, attended Princeton University and earned her juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. She took the bar exam in Illinois, passing it on her second try and receiving her license from the state of Illinois.
In 1988, Michelle became an associate at Sidley & Austin, a corporate law firm in her home town of Chicago. She was assigned to mentor summer associate and future husband, Barack Obama.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
It’s the ‘White House Chicago Way’.
I believe she quit paying the fee. I don’t think it’s more than that but I could be wrong.
You are right. You are wrong.
This has been discussed so many times on FR. And it is only now that WND finds it?
The info should look different if she had quit paying her fee.
Look at Obama’s info. He is no longer an attorney.
You go through grueling law school, take the bar twice, and then only practice for four years? Right.
Bizarre article. I wasted my time reading the entire thing and it seems like much ado about nothing.
I read the entire article. I learned that a) Michelle Obama wasn’t pretty in college, either and b) there is no point to the article.
The reason I say intellectual property was a dead end, do no harm role is because the US Patent & Trademark Office requires that persons coming before it must have passed the Patent Bar exam and the only way to take the Patent Bar is to have an approved technical degree. Neither Michelle nor Barack had anything close to a technical degree.
Therefore, neither could have ever developed an expertise in matters of intellectual property law.
I thought the 1st wookie was as brilliant as her husband. A Harvard law degree and she fails the Illinois bar the first time? That should tell you something about her intellectual and legal abilities right there.
I went to a non-Ivy law school (actually a good Jesuit institution) and passed the MI bar on the 1st try. The bar exam is 2 months of putting your life on hold.
Amusing because she took the spot of someone at Harvard Law who would have passed the bar exam on the first try.
She's not the first I've seen do that. The grind and pressure for billable hours makes many just want to walk away from it. It can be a lot of work for not a whole lot of money.
General Requirements Bulletin for Admission to the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
With special attention to Section III, pp. 4-9 of this document.
III. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE EXAMINATION
An applicant applying for the examination must demonstrate that he or she possesses the scientific and technical training necessary to provide valuable service to patent applicants. Applicants bear the burden of showing the requisite scientific and technical training. To be admitted to the examination, each applicant must demonstrate possession of the required scientific and technical training.
Some folks are cut out to be attorneys and others are not. Depends on how much mental punishment you are willing to take. Law school teaches you the subjects and how to pass the bar but even after you graduate you are forced to spend about a grand on a bar review to pass the test. And law school does not teach you how to actually practice law.
I went into prosecution after a year being a scrub at a firm for about a year, and I learned more about being an attorney sending bad guys to prison, committing crazies civilly and terminating the parental rights of bad parents than I ever did in private practice. Now I’m a private attorney again and actually know something about the practice of law and it’s like night and day.
Can we stop it with the idiotic conspiracy theories? They make Republicans look bad and will help Obama get re-elected. I’m an attorney. Keeping your license is a pain the ass — you have to take 2 dozen useless classes every two years (”Continuing Legal Education”) and pay a steep fee. So lawyers who stop practicing law let their license lapse. That’s what Michelle Obama did. No story. Move along.
You are an idiot. Most IP work is trademark, copyright, or transactional. You don't need a technical degree for any of that. You don't even need a technical degree for patent litigation, I've done it myself and I'm an econ guy. You only need a technical degree if you want to do patent prosecution (i.e. register and defend new patents). Very few people in intellectual property groups do that.
Michelle Obama had a prestigious well-paying job at Sidley. There is no story here.
I graduated Columbia Law in 2003. Most of the people I know from school have left law. It’s quite common.
It was only a couple of years ago that Illinois began the mandatory CLE program. 2006 or 07, I think. I’ve been an inactive Illinois attorney for at least a decade because I live in another state (where I am an active member of the bar). As a result, I pay “only” $105 each year to stay on the Illinois rolls and I am exempt from the CLE requirements.
BTW, I passed the Illinois bar the first time I took it. :)
In college I was groomed to pass the tests, and pass the professional exams.
But that first year of actually "doing it" was an eye opener...for sure.
I actually have saved lives....after I REALLY knew some things...
Night and day....Yeah, that's it!
According to the New York Times, Michelle was unfulfilled by her law career. She told the newspaper, "I wanted to have a career motivated by passion and not just money."
“The reason I say intellectual property was a dead end, do no harm role is because the US Patent & Trademark Office requires that persons coming before it must have passed the Patent Bar exam and the only way to take the Patent Bar is to have an approved technical degree. Neither Michelle nor Barack had anything close to a technical degree.. Therefore, neither could have ever developed an expertise in matters of intellectual property law.”
I practiced intellectual property law for about 25 years without an engineering degree. Believe it or not, in addition to patents, copyrights and trademarks are ordinarily regarded as intellectual property. A whole bunch of money goes down in the economy around copyright and trademark issues so lawyers are up to their ears in them. I also handled a lot of patent litigation in federal court (for which you do not need a technical degree).
About all you can say from these facts is that she was not qualified to practice before the patent commissioner. But that is a small portion of IP law. It may be she was given a dead end job (and marketing certainly suggest that). But that she was in intellectual property w/o a technical degree really doesn’t tell you that.
Digging into your links further shows the first time bar pass rate for Illinois was 84% and that Harvard’s bar pass rate averaged 21% higher than state’s averages. Thus placing Michelle’s failure in the negative 5th percentile... According to the kind of statistics her husband cites. Isn’t inactive lawyer in that percentile worth a $300k job?
Well then. If you want to get into insults. You are a fools idea of a fool.
Thanks for pointing that out.
A lot of very bright people can’t pass the bar exam on their first try. Yes, even if they go to Harvard Law. I don’t think it says anything about Michelle’s intelligence.
It may seem incredible, but there are many, many lawyers who go through law school and then discover that they actually hate the practice of law as it’s now done. My own lawyer is fiercely opposed to having his kids go to law school—so much so that if they choose to go, he refuses to contribute a penny.
I know quite a few ex-lawyers. Their legal training does them a great deal of good in other fields they might want to go into, and it’s always a great credential to have because it means they’ve learned to think in a particular way, but that doesn’t mean they have to do it forever.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone become a lawyer. There are easier ways to make money; there are ways to make more money; and there are nicer folks to be around. Small town practice isn’t bad, but it’s not particularly lucrative.
Am I the only one who thinks..the 1st wookie is funny as heck?
I'm not licensed in Illinois, but I am licensed in two other states, and was licensed in a third. In that third state, I presumed that I'd never be in a position to practice there again, but I wasn't positive. So, I elected to be placed in "inactive" status, rather than resign. If I had just quit paying my dues, or if I was facing a disciplinary action short of disbarment, I would have been classified as "not eligible to practice law". I'm assuming that IL has a similar status system.- FWIW.
PS: If anyone doubts the dead end statement, check out who gets laid off first or replaced last when money is tight.
PPS: It's virtually a non-issue under any government contract.
Fascinating post! I considered law at one time, but all things considered, I didn’t think I could hack it.
You mentioned that law school does not actually teach you how to practice law and you didn’t think you had truly learned to practice it until you became a prosecutor. Going by that standard, how many folks (as a percentage) who come out of law school wind up “practicing law?”
Other than throwing yourself into the mix as a prosecutor, as you did, what do think would help law students learn to practice law?
And speaking of the mental punishment, is there anything that lawyers learn or know that would help folks in other walks of life handle stresses and responsibilities better?
Thanks. ModelBreaker in post #26 also brought that to my attention.
Actually, most attorneys practice less than five years. This is for two key reasons.
2. The majority of law students are women. Call it sexist but mommy track does exist. They might return to practice when the kids get older but many never do.
You are wrong! Please do your research first before glossing over the words; “COURT ORDERED!”
There is a Court Ethics Borad in Illinois, as well as in other States. An issue against Ms. Obama was coming up in Court and she elected to go before the Board and voluntarily surrender her License which then stopped the further action of the impending Public Trial. The surrender of her License was really “INVOLUNTARY”because it was the ONLY Way for Her to prevent standing Trial in what must be assumed to be a Criminal Proceeding given the Courtit was to be scheduled in. All records are were then sealed and No Further Actions were taken by The Court! This was extremely serious for a Harvard Law Graduate to “Surrender” Her Law License FOREVER after only Five Years of PRACTICE! Again, The Surrender of Her Law License Prevented An IMPENDING CERTAIN COURT TRIAL! Something Ms. Obama clearly wanted to avoid at ALL COSTS!
I think “Wookie” to describe this affirmative action person is very, very funny.
Still think that the NFL missed a good thing when “Wookie” was not included in this years draft!
Impending Criminal Prosecution in a Public Court Room Trial which was avoided by Surrender of her License to Practice Law FOREVER in Illinois, the only State she was ever Licensd to Practice Law! Please everyone, take the time to do a GOOGLE SEARCH! Its a BIG DEAL! It only happens to Lawyers in very serious cases brought against them!
REMMBER that Bill Clinton fought hard and spent a fortune to prevent the suspension of His Law License and was given a FIVE YEAR SUSPENSION for HIS PERJURY CONVICTION! Lawyers do NOT voluntarily give up their License Five Years into their Careers! But in this case, its even more clear! Michelle Obama was Forced to Surrender Hers for Life or proceed with the Public Trial, something She obviously chose to AVOID “AT THE SUPREME COST OF LOOSING HER LICENSE TO PRACTICE LAW AGAIN!” No One must be allowed to Gloss that over!
You don’t get much more well known than John F. Kennedy, Jr. According to CNN, it took him three tries to pass the bar. Congratulations on passing it the 1st time.
Thank you for this significant post on her placement ib a totally Deadend Alley for Her given Law Career Development!
Then what is apparent, that even having been placed in a Do No Harm Position, Michelle “MAABELLE” OBAMA succeeded in getting the Illinois Criminal Court System to come after her in such a way that she “VOLUNTEERED TO SURRENDER HER LAW LICENSE” and suffer the resultant Financial Loss and Professional Humiliation in order to prevent having to defend Herself in a Public Trial and possibly clearing Her Name and Saving Her Chosen Careeer!! To anyone else, this would have been certain professional Ruination, but obviosly not for the Obama’s.
And been able to Keep Their License rather than Loosing it ays alot about the Character inhabiting The White House today!And then WHY DID OBOZO SURRENDER OR ALLOW HIS LICENSE TO LAPSE?? Was it something related? or was it that he swore on his application that he never used any other name (ALIAS) on his License Application than Barack Hussein Obama? He swore he had never, but we all know that for years, he was Barry Soetoro!
I will look into it.
Again, this was not the case, she was foced to surrender or face an impending a.d certain Public Trial! She was Forced to Surrender her License “Voluntarily!” There is a wealth of Information on the Internet on this case and the writer obviously missed alot of the serious information on the situation.The major point is that the Infraction she was accused of was obviously so serious that she chose NOT to stand Trial and attempt to prove that she was Innocent:-)
Affirmative Action at Work in the Highest Levels of Chicago Politics and Cultural Circles??
Gosh! Harvard is a 96% Pass Rate and One of it’s Alleged Most brilliant Graduates Flunk The Bar! So that person must have beeen in the bottom 4% of Her HARVARD CLASSMATES, tsk,tsk! How could that be?
That was my first thought, but why “court ordered”?
Wasn’t that simple.
Someone I know says that her file at ARDC has a number on it that references to Insurance Fraud.