He Passed State Bar at 17: 'It Was Not Easy'

California's Peter Park may be the youngest ever to do so in the state
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2023 7:55 AM CST

Most teens head to college after graduating high school. Peter Park is a little ahead of the game—the 18-year-old was sworn in last week as what may be California's youngest practicing prosecutor, per UPI. According to a release from the Tulare County District Attorney's Office, where Park has been serving as a law clerk since August, Park found out last month that he passed the famously rigorous bar exam he took in July at 17, perhaps making him the youngest person ever to do so (the California State Bar tells the AP it can't confirm he's the youngest, though it calls Park's accomplishment "quite an extraordinary feat and one worth celebrating").

Park kicked off his high school career in 2019 at the age of 13 at Oxford Academy in Cypress. Thanks to California law, he was able to take proficiency exams and enroll in a four-year JD program at Northwestern California University School of Law at the same time; he graduated high school in two years, then did the same at law school earlier this year. Park, who turned 18 in November, was sworn in Wednesday.

"The [DA's] office hired him as deputy district attorney this week," a spokesperson for that office said Friday, per USA Today. "We had to wait until he turned 18." As for how Park feels about his accomplishment, and the career he now has ahead of him, he says, per the release: "It was not easy, but it was worth it. It required discipline and strategy ... and I made it in the end. ... I aspire to become a prosecutor because I am driven by a moral obligation to uphold liberty, equality, and justice in society. I admire how prosecutors keep our community safe and bring closure to victims." (More uplifting news stories.)

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