Bar Exam

Meet Peter Park, possibly youngest person to pass California bar

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Law clerk Peter Park poses in Visalia, California, on Dec. 5. A county prosecutor’s office has said Park passed the State Bar of California bar exam at age 17. Photo from the Tulare County, California, district attorney’s office via the Associated Press.

At 18 years old, Peter Park is already working as an assistant district attorney in Tulare County, California.

Park was only 17 years old when he passed the California bar exam on his first try, making him “the youngest person to ever pass” the state’s bar exam, according to a Dec. 6 press release by his employer. He took the exam in July and learned he passed Nov. 9. He turned 18 on Nov. 26, according to the Daily Journal.

The State Bar of California could not confirm whether Park was indeed the youngest person to pass the exam, but its executive director, Leah Wilson, told the Associated Press that passing the bar at such a young age “is quite an extraordinary feat and one worth celebrating.”

Park’s father brought up the idea of attending law school when Park was only age 13, the younger Park told the Washington Post. Park’s father had discovered that his son could apply to law school in California without an undergraduate degree if he passed the College Level Examination Program tests.

Park began studying, He passed the CLEP exams while he was still in eighth grade and began applying to law schools.

Park enrolled in the four-year online program at the Northwestern California University School of Law at the same time that he was beginning high school. Park was able to graduate high school in 2021, at the end of 10th grade, by taking the California High School Proficiency Exam. Then he was able to devote full time to his law studies.

After Park passed the bar, his father self-published a book called Fast-Track Attorney: Passing the Bar at Age 17.

Park’s sisters are 16 and 13, and they are enrolled at the Northwestern California University School of Law. Park says the older sister plans to take the bar exam in July, and if she passes, she will surpass his age record.

Park told the San Francisco Chronicle that others could also follow in his footsteps.

“There are people out there who are smart like me. I wouldn’t say I’m like a super genius. I would just say I’m just like, reasonably smart,” Park told the San Francisco Chronicle. There are “people out there like me who would like to become an attorney at age 17—who wouldn’t?—but they just don’t know how to.”

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