14 Famous People Who Failed The Bar

They turned out fine, so will you. (Not that you're going to fail. I REPEAT, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FAIL.)

1. First Lady Michelle Obama

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

Failed the Illinois bar exam, seemed to do OK.

2. President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Universal History Archive / REX USA

Bar exam: Hard.

Signing a declaration of war against Germany: No sweat.

3. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / / MCT

Despite passing in Arkansas, she failed in D.C., signaling the beginning of the end of her short-lived career.

4. Kathleen Sullivan

Gary Cameron / Reuters

Named partner at Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Supreme Court arguer, former dean of Stanford Law School, and California bar exam failure.

5. Gov. Jerry Brown

Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee / MCT

Luckily for Brown, failing the California bar the first time around didn't disqualify him from becoming the state's governor.

6. Pat Robertson

Brian Snyder / Reuters

Failed the New York bar, maybe because he kinda wishes wife beating was legal.

7. Congressman Harold Ford Jr.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Good news: You can fail the Tennessee bar exam and still vote to authorize wars, ban same-sex marriage, and support the credit card industry!

8. New York Mayor Ed Koch

AP Photo/Mario Suriani, file

Clearly failing the bar held back the former New York mayor from ever achieving anything of note his entire life.

9. John F. Kennedy Jr.


Passed on the third try, was exceptionally handsome each time.

10. Benjamin Cardozo

Apic / Getty Images

Good to know: Failing the bar can't even keep you off the SCOTUS bench.

11. Mayor Richard Daley

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

The former mayor of Chicago failed the bar but managed to get elected six times. I'd say there's still hope for you, even if you do fail.

12. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times / MCT

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa went to an unaccredited law school AND failed the bar FOUR times. But he gets to hug the president so it's all good.

13. Gov. Pete Wilson

Reed Saxon-Pool / Getty Images

California voters didn't seem to mind that the former two-term governor failed the bar three times. That's good news for all of us.

14. Gov. David Paterson

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Paterson, the blind former governor of New York, has both posed for photos with Anne Hathaway and used his bar failure to advocate for better exam accommodations for the visually impaired. What will you do if you fail?