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18-year-old black woman becomes youngest person ever to qualify as a barrister in Britain

Black woman proves black greatness once again.

  • Gabrielle Turnquest is the youngest qualified barrister in more than 600 years
  • She passed her Graduate Diploma in Law at the tender age of just 17
  • Miss Turnquest will return to the US to chase her dream of being a fashion lawyer

An American teenager has become the youngest person in more than 600 years to become a qualified barrister in England and Wales.

At the age of just 18, Gabrielle Turnquest is not even old enough to buy an alcoholic drink in her home town of Windermere, Florida, but she has become the youngest person ever to pass The Bar exams.

The average lawyer passes the Bar Professional Training Course at the age of 27, but Gabrielle was called to The Bar last month through the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn after passing her Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Law when she was just 17.

Success: Gabrielle Turnquest has become the youngest person to pass The Bar exams in more than 600 years

Success: Gabrielle Turnquest has become the youngest person to pass The Bar exams in more than 600 years

Miss Turnquest will not work as a barrister in the UK, but will instead return to her native America where she hopes to become a fashion lawyer
Miss Turnquest will not work as a barrister in the UK, but will instead return to her native America where she hopes to become a fashion lawyer

Ambitious: Miss Turnquest will not work as a barrister in the UK, but will instead return to her native America where she hopes to become a fashion lawyer

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She doesn’t plan on using her success to work as a barrister in the UK and instead plans on returning to the states in the autumn to carry on study as she hopes to forge a career as a fashion law specialist.

To work in the UK, Gabrielle would have to carry out a pupillage at a chambers for a further year before being granted a tenancy. But she is also called to the Bahamas Bar, her parents’ place of birth, and hopes to work there.

 

She told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I am honoured to be the youngest person to pass the Bar exams but, really, I was not aware at the time what the average age was.

‘I didn’t fully realise the impact of it.’

Gabrielle already made history at Liberty University in Virginia, where she became the youngest student to gain an undergraduate degree, in psychology, at the age of just 16.

So much, so young: Miss Turnquest made history at her last university when she became its youngest undergraduate, gaining a psychology degree at just 16

So much, so young: Miss Turnquest made history at her last university when she became its youngest undergraduate, gaining a psychology degree at just 16

Trainee lawyers did have to be at least 21 to be called to The Bar before a change in the law in 2009.

Now that she’s passed, Gabrielle is to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in a bid to break into the niche market of fashion law.

Gabrielle also hopes to sit the multi-state Bar in the US.

Nigel Savage, President and Provost at The University of Law, said: ‘Like Gabrielle, students from across the globe are recognising the importance of having a legal qualification that is widely recognised in other legal jurisdictions.  

‘The growing globalisation of law firms and the need for more international expertise means that it is becoming increasingly more important for young legal professionals to have experience across different legal markets if they are going to maximise the number of job opportunities that are available to them.’

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12 Comments

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  1. Wa ooo,her story is awesome but I want to know if she is a child of God bcos God is d only Wise one n He gives it to whomever He wants.i think Gabrielle should return all Glory to God.

  2. This is impressive. I will like her to grant a full interview to speak on how she was able to achieve these goals at her tender age. This will be a source of encourage to youths most especially girls. It will also change the mind of some parents who underrate girl-child education.
    I am sending my healthy congratulations to this young lady who has made my day!

  3. Impressive. …buh trust me..der re many Africans out der whu can equally du same if giving d opportunity

  4. I appreciate the magnitude of this achievement as a law professor with knowldge of the workings of the legal profession in the UK

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