The youngest person to pass the state bar exam is a California teen
According to research by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, the 17-year-old from the Central Valley became the youngest individual to pass the California Bar Examination ever. The office referred to the achievement as “a legal history making moment.”
According to district attorney officials, Peter Park, a law clerk, passed the demanding exam on his first try. He took the exam back in July, and on November 9 he got the results.
He was sworn in as one of the youngest practicing attorneys in California on December 5, according to the DA’s office.
The state bar sent KTVU an email stating that although its records do not verify if Park is the youngest person to pass the bar since it was established in 1927, the teen’s accomplishment is quite remarkable.
“Passing the California Bar exam is a major accomplishment at any age, and for someone as young as Mr. Park, it is quite an extraordinary feat and one worth celebrating,” Leah Wilson, executive director of the State Bar of California, said stating, “The State Bar of California wishes him the best of luck as he embarks on a career in the legal field.”
Park was raised in Southern California after leaving Korea at the age of four with his family.
He expedited the process of obtaining his law degree at an early age. He started high school at Oxford Academy in Cypress, Orange County, when he was thirteen years old.
The teen, according to the DA’s office, took advantage of a state bar rule that permits students to apply to law school by completing the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and concurrently enrolled in a four-year online Juris Doctor (JD) program at Northwestern California University School of Law in Sacramento while still a high school student.
He finished high school in two years, graduating in 2021. He then concentrated on his studies at law school, where he received his JD earlier this year.
Then, in August, he started working as a law clerk for the district attorney’s office in Tulare County.
Park claimed that despite the difficult road, it was well worth it.
The kid was cited by the district attorney’s office in a news release as stating, “I made it in the end. It required discipline and strategy to pass the Bar.”
The young lawyer intended to become a prosecutor.
“I am driven by a moral obligation to uphold liberty, equality, and justice in society,” he stated. He continued, “I admire how prosecutors keep our community safe and bring closure to victims.”
The young man added that he hoped his experience would show others that there are other, non-traditional ways to become a lawyer.
“I am extremely blessed to have discovered this path,” Park stated, “and my hope is that more people will realize that alternative paths exist to becoming an attorney.”