19-Year-Old Haley Taylor Schlitz Set to Become Youngest African-American to Graduate Law School

Haley Taylor Schlitz is old enough to vote, but not old enough to drink. Soon, though, she could be representing clients in court. At 19 years old, Schlitz is about to become the youngest African American to graduate law school, according to a news release from the university. Taylor Schlitz was accepted into nine different law schools across the country when she was 16 — but she chose to attend Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.

Taylor Schlitz is set to graduate May 13, and hopes to work on education policy issues for an elected official or nonprofit organization, according to the release, and find ways to expand opportunities for gifted and talented girls and students of color.

Her path to law school wasn’t conventional. When her previously high grades began to slide in the fifth grade, according to Essence, her parents went to the school to get to the bottom of the swift change. When her mother suggested she was bored and needed more advanced courses, the administration disagreed. Disappointed in the school’s response, her parents decided to home school her.

“I was just being taught to pass the end-of-the-year test to get to the next grade,” she told the Birmingham Times. “I wasn’t being taught to learn.”

Schlitz said on her website she was also not allowed to take the test to enter the gifted program in public schools. Her parents had her privately tested and found she was gifted.

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SOURCE: CBS News, Jaz Garner