Law Students

22-year-old Harvard law grad plans to launch his own company--after one more degree


Cortlan Wickliff is graduating from Harvard Law School at the age of 22.

He will be one of the youngest African-Americans to ever graduate from the law school, the Boston Globe reports in an inspiring story. He started his college studies at 15, and graduated from Rice University in 2010 with a bioengineering degree.

His next step is to begin work on a Ph.D., the story says. He wants to open a medical device company, and decided that a law degree would help him as a business owner. When Wickliff was 10, his father died from a heart attack in a town with no hospital. That was part of what inspired him to work in the healthcare industry.

Wickliff notes some difficulties in the transition to law school, but says age wasn’t the big issue. “Being at a school where there aren’t any right answers when you have been in engineering or sciences classes, that’s a bit of a change,” he told the Globe. “School was different because of my engineering background, being from the South, being from Texas, rather than different because of my age.”

He does note, however, that classmates thought he was being antisocial when he told them he couldn’t join them at local pubs. “People would think ‘I can’t come’ meant I was busy studying,” he told the newspaper. “It never dawned on me that people didn’t realize how much younger than them I was.”

Updated to change the headline, add additional details.

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