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Robert F. Bauer

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2003

Perkins Coie LLP

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 prestigious "Burton Award for Legal Achievement" for his legal writing.

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

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 "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).


  • Listed as one of the "100 Most Influential Attorneys" by National Law Journal, 2006, 2013
  • Listed in Chambers USA, “America’s Leading Political Law Lawyers," 2006 - 2009, 2012 - 2014
  • Named by Washingtonian Magazine as a "Top Lawyer" for campaign and election law
  • Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Received the Burton Award for Legal Achievement, 2000

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700 Thirteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-3960
Phone: 202-434-1602
Firm Phone: 202-654-6200

Practice Areas

  • Government Relations Practice (Campaign Finance, Ethics)

Lawyer of the Year


  • Harvard University (BA)
  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.)

Bar Admissions

  • The District of Columbia Bar

Organizations & Affiliations

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