Source: Tulare County District Attorney
From High School to the Bar: Peter Park, California's Youngest Attorney
BY: Michelle Liew
In the legal world, superheroes aren't confined to comic books. Meet Peter Park, not to be confused with the web-slinging alter ego of Spider-Man. Park, a Korean American, has a different kind of superpower—his extraordinary intellect has propelled him to become the youngest attorney in the history of California. While most 17-year-olds are navigating the challenges of high school, Peter Park has already passed the notoriously rigorous California bar exam, setting a record in the process.
The Early Years
Peter Park's journey to legal stardom began at the tender age of 13 when he started high school at Oxford Academy in Cypress, CA. However, Park wasn't content with a typical high school experience. Simultaneously, he embarked on a unique path by enrolling in a four-year juris doctor program at Northwestern California University School of Law. This ambitious move was made possible through a state bar rule allowing students to apply to law school using College Level Proficiency Exams (CLEPS).
Completing high school while pursuing a demanding law program was undoubtedly no easy feat. Park's glasses, figuratively speaking, became a symbol of his superhuman dedication to his studies. Despite the challenges, he maintained focus and discipline, demonstrating a level of determination beyond his years. Graduating from high school in 2021, Park shifted his attention entirely to law school, culminating in his graduation in 2023.
Making Legal History
The pinnacle of Park's journey came with a legal history-making moment—passing the notoriously difficult California bar exam on his first attempt at the age of 17. The California bar exam is renowned for its difficulty, with a failure rate that leaves many aspiring lawyers disheartened. However, Peter Park's success not only defied the odds but also solidified his place as a prodigy in the legal arena.
In Park's Words
Reflecting on his achievement, Park acknowledged the challenges but expressed that the journey was undeniably worth it. He emphasized the importance of discipline and strategy in overcoming the hurdles of the bar exam. Park also hopes that his story will inspire others to recognize alternative paths to becoming an attorney, challenging the conventional route.
Aspirations for the Future
Peter Park's aspirations extend beyond personal success. Driven by a profound sense of moral duty, he aspires to become a prosecutor, aiming to uphold the principles of liberty, equality, and justice in society. Park admires the role of prosecutors in ensuring community safety and bringing closure to victims—a testament to his commitment to making a positive impact on the world through the practice of law.
Peter Park's journey from high school to becoming California's youngest attorney is nothing short of remarkable. His story challenges preconceived notions about the traditional path to legal success, proving that alternative routes are not only possible but can lead to groundbreaking achievements. As Park dons his legal glasses and sets out to make a difference in the world, he stands as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring lawyers and a testament to the power of determination and unconventional thinking in the pursuit of one's dreams.