• University of Law graduate becomes youngest ever barrister

    30 July 2013

    A University of Law graduate is to become the youngest person in the history of the English and Welsh legal system to pass The Bar exams at just 18 years of age. Gabrielle Turnquest will be called to The Bar of England and Wales through the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn on July 30, 2013, the youngest person in the Bar’s more than 600 year history to do so as a graduate.

    Gabrielle, who is from Windermere, Florida in USA, undertook The University of Law’s Bar Professional Training Course following passing the Graduate Diploma in Law when she was 17 years old. She is returning to the USA this fall to continue studying towards fulfilling her aspiration of forging a career as a fashion law specialist.

    Gabrielle Turnquest, the youngest person in England and Wales to pass The Bar exams
    Gabrielle Turnquest, the youngest person in England and Wales to pass The Bar exams.

    Historically, a trainee lawyer had to be 21 years old to be eligible for the call to The Bar but this was removed in 2009 when the Consolidated Regulations of the Four Inns of Court were replaced by the Bar Training Regulations. The average age of a student graduating from the BPTC course is 27*.

    Gabrielle has already made history at her previous University, Liberty University in Virginia, where she became the youngest person to be conferred an undergraduate degree at that institution having completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the age of 16.

    Under The University of Law’s Bar training programmes, overseas students can undertake training at its centres that is internationally relevant, helping them to gain an international perspective and qualify for other countries’ Bar and solicitor training requirements.

    Gabrielle will also be called to the Bahamas Bar, the country of her parental heritage. She will then return to the USA and attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to pursue a programme in Apparel Industry Management. This will equip her with the necessary skills needed to venture into the niche market of fashion law. Alongside this course she will also prepare and sit the multi state Bar in the USA.

    Gabrielle Turnquest said: “I am honoured to be the youngest graduate student to pass the Bar exams in England and Wales and grateful to The University of Law for helping me achieve this milestone. Studying at the University of Law has broadened my horizons and introduced me to a global legal system that will help me in my future career in the international fashion industry.”

    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.”

    Globally the legal services market is thriving and is expected to increase to $751bn (£480bn) over the next three years, which represents an annual average growth rate of 5% between now and 2015**. Over half of the revenue of the largest 100 law firms in the UK is now being generated by international law firms based in London putting the UK firmly on the map as a global legal hub and also opening up greater opportunities for UK law firms operating overseas.

    * Average age of a student graduating from the BPTC course on 01 July 2012.

    **Law Society report: The Legal Services Industry, Part 1 – an overview

    For further information, please contact:

    Broadgate Mainland
    Mark Knight / Sarah Evans Toyne / Lianne Robinson / Andrew Adam

    Telephone: 020 7726 6111
    Email: TheUniversityofLaw@broadgatemainland.com

    Lucy Wray, Press Officer, The University of Law on 01483 216072 (lucy.wray@law.ac.uk)