California Teen Passes Bar Exam, Becomes Attorney

( – A 17-year-old Californian has set the record for youngest person to pass the bar exam. The impressive feat was performed by Peter Park who passed on his first try. Park currently works as a Tulare County Division Attorney law clerk, and that office proudly shared the news of his accomplishment On December 6th. Prior to Park, the youngest person known to have passed the bar was 18 years of age.

Park has been something of an academic whiz-kid for a long time. At the age of only 13, Park began high school at the Oxford Academy in Cypress, California. While attending high school Park enrolled in Northwestern California University School of Law and took part in its juris doctor program, a four-year commitment. Park graduated high school early in 2021 after successfully passing the California High School Proficiency Exam.

Park was able to take the bar exam at his age by using a state bar rule that permits qualified students file applications to law school after completing the College Level Proficiency Exams.

Park, now 18, has been sworn in and is now officially the youngest practicing attorney in California. Park said his achievements were not easy but he says “discipline and strategy” got him to where he wanted to be. He’d like to eventually become a prosecuting attorney. He said he’s driven to bring justice to people and communities. He’s long admired prosecutors for their unique role of being able to bring “closure” to crime victims and their families.

The California bar exam is widely considered the toughest in the United States by members of the legal community. The three-day exam covers 14 subjects and participants must write essays, answer multiple choice questions, and partake in performance assignments. Park says he hopes others will see what’s he’s accomplished and be inspired to find “alternative paths” to their dreams of becoming an attorney.

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