Monday, March 4, 2024

Teen Passes California Bar Exam at Age 17 Sworn in as Practicing Attorney

  • Peter Park was only 17 years old when he passed the California state bar exam.
  • This made him the youngest person to pass the famously difficult test.
  • Park, now 18 years old, was sworn in as a practicing attorney on Tuesday.
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An 18-year-old Californian who passed the state bar exam when he was just 17 is now working as a practicing attorney.

The Tulare County District Attorney’s office announced the teenager’s record achievement in a Facebook post, saying it was a “legal history-making moment.”

Park’s legal journey began at the age of 13, when he enrolled at Northwestern California University School of Law while still in high school, taking advantage of a state bar rule that allowed students to apply to law school after completing the college-level proficiency exams.

Park completed high school in 2021 and graduated from law school in 2023, according to the DA’s post.

The press release said Park promptly passed the state bar exam on her first attempt when she was 17, beating the previous record held by an 18-year-old.

“It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It takes discipline and strategy to pass the bar, and I did it in the end. I’m very blessed to have discovered this path, and my hope is that more people will realize that. There are alternative paths to becoming a lawyer,” Park said in the press release.

“I aspire to be a prosecutor because I am driven by a moral obligation to uphold liberty, equality, and social justice. I admire how prosecutors keep our community safe and bring closure to victims,” he added.

Park was officially sworn in as a practicing attorney on Tuesday, according to the DA’s post.

The California bar exam lasts two days and is notorious for its difficulty.

It consists of three parts: “a 200-item multiple-choice section, also known as the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), five essay questions, and a performance test designed to assess the applicant’s ability to apply general legal knowledge to practical tasks,” the State Bar of California said in a press release.

The July 2023 results show a pass rate of only 51.5% of the 7,555 people who took the exam, up from 52.4% in 2022, per the release.

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