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Barack Obama at the University of Chicago Law School

Senior Lecturer - Taught Three Courses per Year


During Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for President of the United States, the University of Chicago media office was besieged with requests for clarification about his status and experience while teaching at their law school. Below is the official, unedited statement that the University of Chicago released about Barack Obama and his employment with the university.

Related: Biographical Timeline of Barack Obama


The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer."

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.

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