theGrio’s 100: Gabrielle Turnquest, Florida teen is youngest person ever to pass UK bar exam
Who is Gabrielle Turnquest?
Gabrielle Turnquest, 19, is an academic overachiever whose intellectual prowess would intimate even the most smug. At a tender age of 16 she made history becoming the youngest person to complete an undergraduate degree at Liberty University in Virginia.
Why is she on theGrio’s 100?
Two years later, Turnquest, from Windermere in Florida, broke records again but this time on an international stage. She became the youngest person ever to qualify as a barrister in the United Kingdom.
Turnquest was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2013 after passing her exams with flying colors at just 18. What makes this achievement even more extraordinary is the average lawyer undertakes the notoriously rigorous Bar Professional Training Course when they are 27, according to The University of Law records.
In the past, a trainee lawyer had to be at least 21 to be eligible for the call to The Bar. This was scrapped in 2009 with the introduction of the Bar Training Regulations.
“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,” she said in an interview with a British newspaper. “I didn’t fully realize the impact of it.”
The high-flying teen took the course at the University of Law along with her older sister Kandi, who also passed the exams at the age of 22. Turnquest was able to take the British exam because her parents hail from the Bahamas, a former colony.
What’s next for Turnquest?
In an interview with theGrio, Turnquest said she aspires to work in fashion, in intellectual property or the business sphere. “I want to work in the international fashion scene, perhaps running my own empire.”
She is currently attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles campus; studying Apparel Industry Management.
She also has an interest in politics and plans to start a blog to educate young voters.
“I turned 18 a month after the last presidential election,” said Turnquest. “I was of course disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to participate but I soon began to pay attention to a lot of other young people and would-be new voters.”