Professional Biography
Image of Robert Bauer

Robert (Bob) Bauer Partner



In Bob's 30 years of practice, he has provided counseling and representation on matters involving regulation of political activity before the courts and administrative agencies of national party committees, candidates, political committees, individuals, federal officeholders, corporations and trade associations, and tax-exempt groups.

Bob served as White House Counsel to President Obama, and returned to private practice in June 2011. In 2013, the President named Bob to be Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

Bob is the author of several books: United States Federal Election Law (1982, 1984), Soft Money Hard Law: A Guide to the New Campaign Finance Law (2002) and More Soft Money Hard Law: The Second Edition of the Guide to the New Campaign Finance Law (2004) and numerous articles. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of Journal of Law and Politics. In 2000, he received the "Burton Award for Legal Achievement" for his legal writing.

Bob teaches law at the New York University School of Law, where he is a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He is also the author of the weblog,, on which he writes about campaign finance and other topics in political law.

Bob was General Counsel to Obama for America, the President’s campaign organization, in 2008 and 2012, and he is General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee. Bob has also served as co-counsel to the New Hampshire State Senate in the trial of Chief Justice David A. Brock (2000); general counsel to the Bill Bradley for President Committee (1999-2000); and counsel to the Democratic Leader in the trial of President William Jefferson Clinton (1999).

He has co-authored numerous bipartisan reports, including "The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (2014); "Report of Counsel to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee in the Matter of the United States Senate Seat From Louisiana" in the 105th Congress of the United States (March 27, 1997); "Campaign Finance Reform," A Report to the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the United States Senate (March 6, 1990); and "The Presidential Election Process in the Philippines", a bipartisan report prepared at the request of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (1986).




Video Profile

Professional Recognition

  • Named by Washingtonian Magazine as a "Top Lawyer" for campaign and election law
  • Listed as one of the "100 Most Influential Attorneys" by National Law Journal, 2013 
  • Listed in Chambers USA, “America’s Leading Political Law Lawyers," 2014 - 2017
  • Received the Burton Award for Legal Achievement, 2000

Professional Leadership

  • American Bar Association, Advisory Commission on Election Law
  • University of Virginia, Journal of Law and Politics, National Advisory Board
  • Election Law Journal, Editorial Board





Areas of Focus

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1976
  • Harvard University, B.A.,
    magna cum laude
    , 1973


Image related to the Commission BookIn 2013, the President named Bob Bauer the Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which was established by Executive Order on March 28, 2013. Its mission was to make recommendations to improve the American voting experience, focusing on structural and legal reforms, and also identifying best administrative practice. Click here to view the report.

Best Lawyers Award Badge

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Chambers 2015 logo  Bauer, Robert F