Remember those annoying gunners in high school? Running around joining every club and running for student government so they can pad their résumés with yet another achievement to become just slightly more attractive?
Well, this Tracy Flick stand-in puts all those gunners to shame. She may even have the best plan for gaming the American law school system yet: getting admitted in the U.K. first.
Enter Gabrielle Turnquest. She’s 18 and the youngest lawyer in the history of the U.K.
What makes Turnquest’s admission extracurricular is that she has exactly zero interest practicing in the U.K. Well, maybe it isn’t entirely extracurricular because she does plan to parlay this into admission to the Bahamas bar. At 18, Turnquest is the youngest lawyer in the 600-year history of the British bar:
Historically, a trainee lawyer had to be 21 years old to be eligible for the call to The Bar but this was removed in 2009 when the Consolidated Regulations of the Four Inns of Court were replaced by the Bar Training Regulations. The average age of a student graduating from the BPTC course is 27.
Gabrielle has already made history at her previous University, Liberty University in Virginia, where she became the youngest person to be conferred an undergraduate degree at that institution having completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the age of 16.
Under The University of Law’s Bar training programmes, overseas students can undertake training at its centres that is internationally relevant, helping them to gain an international perspective and qualify for other countries’ Bar and solicitor training requirements.
Liberty, lest you’ve forgotten, is the school founded by the late Jerry Falwell. Fun fact: one of the buildings is built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark, in case you ever wanted to see just how hard it would be to stick all those animals in one boat. I guess it’s easier not to feel left out on a college campus at 15 when the school’s “[b]ehavioral standards … include the prohibition of drug, alcohol and tobacco use, coed residence halls, and sexual promiscuity.”
Turnquest graduated from Liberty in the class of 2012. So doing the math, Turnquest was able to secure a spot as a lawyer with a mere year at the University of Law (hey, I like a school that gets to the point with its name).
Actually, that’s the kind of genius you’d expect from this legal Doogie Howser. Armed with her U.K. admission, Turnquest can sit for the bar in America without wasting three years and oodles of cash (in fairness, someone who graduated college so young probably could secure a scholarship or two) on law school over here.
Next up for Turnquest is earning a fashion degree while taking the bar here:
She will then return to the USA and attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to pursue a programme in Apparel Industry Management. This will equip her with the necessary skills needed to venture into the niche market of fashion law. Alongside this course she will also prepare and sit the multi state Bar in the USA.
Also of note, Gabrielle’s older sister is already a lawyer, having passed the bar at 22. Let’s hope the Turnquests don’t have a third sister, or she’ll be at Yale by age 10.
30 July 2013: University of Law graduate becomes youngest ever barrister [University of Law]