By Isabelle Stanley For Dailymail.Com and Ap 15:56 10 Dec 2023, updated 16:13 10 Dec 2023
- Peter Park was sworn in Tuesday, making him the youngest practicing attorney in California
- He passed the state bar exam – known as one of the toughest in the US – on his first try at age 17
- Since then he has been hired as a deputy district attorney
A 17-year-old boy thought to be the youngest person to pass the notoriously difficult California state bar exam has been sworn in as a lawyer.
Peter Park, from Visalia, California, was working as a law clerk in the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office when he sat for and passed the exam in November.
He is believed to be the youngest person to achieve the feat, taking over the title from its previous 18-year-old holder.
On announcing that he had passed, Park said: ‘It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. It takes discipline and strategy to pass the bar, and I did it in the end.’
He is now hired as a deputy district attorney, with Michelle Villalobos, a spokeswoman for the Tulare County District Attorney’s office, telling USA TODAY: ‘We have to wait until he turns 18.’
The legal prodigy is no stranger to early success, starting in high school when he was just 13 years old.
Park entered Oxford Academy in Cypress, Orange County, aged 13, and while still a high school student, began a four-year juris doctor program at Northwestern California University School of Law.
He graduates from high school in 2021 and is focused on law school, graduating from Northwestern this year.
He became a law clerk for the District Attorney’s office in August, turned 18 in late November, and was sworn in as an attorney Tuesday making him the youngest practicing prosecutor in California.
The California State Bar exam is notoriously difficult and is widely considered to be one of the toughest in the United States.
It has a higher pass threshold than other states and tests a wider range of subjects.
Despite this, Park passed it on his first attempt.
The State Bar said it could not confirm that Park was the youngest person to pass, but praised his performance.
‘Passing the California Bar exam is a great achievement at any age, and for someone as young as Mr. Park, this is an incredible achievement and one worth celebrating,’ Executive Director Leah Wilson said.
Park said he became a prosecutor because he was driven by a moral obligation to uphold freedom, equality, and social justice.’
He added: ‘I admire how prosecutors keep our community safe and bring closure to victims.
‘I am extremely blessed to have discovered this path, and I hope that more people will realize that alternative paths exist in becoming a lawyer.’