In 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School and was elected editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year. The following year, he was elected President of the Harvard Law Review – making him the first African American to do so. This immediately earned him national attention, which led to a publishing contract – the 1995 book “Dreams from My Father.”
After finishing college, Barack headed Illinois’ Project Vote, a voter-registration drive. His group successfully registered 150,000 African Americans to vote. His efforts earned him a spot on Crain’s (Chicago’s business newspaper’s) 1993 “40 under 40” powers-to-be-list.
Barack then went on to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. During this time, he also practiced law at the firm Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, focusing on civil rights cases and neighborhood economic development.
In 1996, Barack was elected to the Illinois Senate, where he promoted a law to increase tax credits for low-income workers, encouraged welfare reform, and fought for increased childcare assistance. After being selected as chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee in 2003, he promoted and successfully got legislation passed to monitor racial profiling by the police.
Barrack’s landslide victory in the 2004 U.S. Senate primary election immediately sparked talks of a run for the presidency. Later that year, he won the general election 70% to 27% – the largest victory margin in a statewide race in Illinois history. As America’s fifth African American Senator, he helped create the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act.