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American teen is youngest person to pass U.K. Bar exam

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM   |   Comments

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- At age 18, Gabrielle Turnquest of Windermere, Florida has become the youngest person called to the Bar of England and Wales in the profession's 600-year history.

The average age a lawyer takes the Bar Professional Training Course is 27. Until 2009, when regulations were updated, trainee lawyers were required to be at least 21 to be eligible for a call to the Bar.

"I am honored to be the youngest person to pass the Bar exams but, really, I was not aware at the time what the average age was," Turnquest said. "I didn’t fully realise the impact of it."

Turnquest sought qualification in the U.K. because she wants to work in her parents' native Bahamas, and passing the British exam means she is also called to the Bahamas Bar.

If she wanted to practice in the U.K, Turnquest would still have to complete training contract at a chambers for at least a year.

At age 16, Turnquest became the youngest person to complete an undergraduate degree at Liberty University in Virginia. She took the Bar Professional Training Course at the University of Law along with her sister Kandi, 22, who also passed the exam.

Turnquest plans to seek qualification in America as well, and eventually hopes to specialize in fashion law.

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