November 07, 2012
Barack Obama ’91 has won election to the presidency of the United States for a second term. First elected the 44th President of the United States on Nov. 4, 2008, Obama is the second Harvard Law School grad to serve as president. (Read: HLS’s first alumnus elected as president: Rutherford B. Hayes 1845). Obama’s wife, Michelle, Harvard Law School Class of ’88, is the first HLS alumna to serve as First Lady.
"I extend to President Obama my warmest congratulations on his re-election and my best wishes as he continues to tackle the enormous challenges facing our nation and the world," said HLS Dean Martha Minow. "I also extend my warmest congratulations to Governor Romney for waging a spirited and energetic campaign that galvanized so many Americans, and for his gracious and graceful pledge of unity and support after such a close election. Harvard Law School can be immensely proud that it has played a part in preparing both of these exceptional leaders to embrace difficult problems and contribute to their solutions. Let us all follow their joint call to move ahead together and to offer our talents, skills, innovation and creativity to the shaping of much-needed solutions to the daunting challenges ahead."
This November, for the first time in the history of U.S. presidential elections, both candidates of the major parties were graduates of Harvard Law School. Mitt Romney, the Republican opponent in this year’s race, earned degrees from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School in 1975. (Read: Alumni remember two presidential candidates as students.)
Obama arrived at the law school in 1988 at the age of 28, after several years as a community organizer in Chicago. Two years later, he made history at HLS when he was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. In 2004, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009.
Since law school, Obama has stayed connected to many of his former professors and classmates, many of whom have supported and advised him in his political rise from state senator to President-elect of the United States.
Obama first made history at HLS It was as a Harvard Law School student that Obama first made history—and national headlines—when he was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of 1990. Read more »
Electing to serve: Most likely to succeed? This November, for the first time in the history of U.S. presidential elections, both candidates of the major parties are graduates of Harvard Law School. Despite sharp differences in their politics, President Barack Obama ’91 and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney J.D./M.B.A. ’75, share the HLS experience, though their times at Harvard were separated by nearly 20 years. Read more »