Despite their differences on health care or unemployment, the two candidates in this year's presidential election have one thing in common: They are both lawyers.
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both earned law degrees from Harvard Law School.
While at Harvard Law, Barack Obama served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review and became the journal's first black president. He worked as a summer associate at Sidley Austin and Hopkins & Sutter in Chicago before graduating with a J.D. magna cum laude in 1991. From 1992 to 2004, Obama taught consitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.
After graduating with high honors from Brigham Young University, Mitt Romney enrolled in the recently created joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration four-year program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He graduated in 1975 cum laude from the law school, in the top third of his class.
Although 12 U.S. presidents attended law school, only six attained their degrees. In the 19th century, lawyers most often learned their trade through apprenticeships. Harvard Law and Yale Law claim the highest number of presidents, at only two each.
Historically, a legal career is good training for the chief executive: Of the 43 U.S. presidents, 26 have been lawyers. That trend was even more pronounced prior to World War I, when the percentage of past and present presidents trained as lawyers reached as high as 70 percent. Post-World War II, the U.S. has elected only four lawyer-presidentsRichard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.