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Alumna becomes youngest person to pass UK's bar exam

August 23, 2013 : By Melissa Skinner/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University alumna Gabrielle Turnquest (’11), age 18, was recently featured in several major media outlets, including Time magazine and “The Huffington Post,” for becoming the youngest person to pass Britain's bar exam in its 600-year history.

Turnquest graduated from Liberty University Online with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at age 16. She is the youngest individual to obtain that degree from Liberty.

“Liberty’s programs allow for a truly comprehensive educational environment, even while online, and even while still in high school,” said Turnquest, who enrolled in the Edge, Liberty’s online dual enrollment program for high school juniors and seniors. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Liberty and appreciated the fact that I and other students were encouraged to interact as much as possible, even in an online forum.”

She said she did not let her young age deter her.

“My age was not something I dwelt on as I pursued my studies. Having the buffer of an online forum I believe allowed me to excel on merit alone and not any opinions held about my age,” she said.

Since it only takes one year to complete law school in the U.K., Turnquest was able to enroll at The University of Law in York at age 17 and took the bar exam this year.

Turnquest plans to return to the U.S. and study for the multistate bar exam and enroll in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California, where she will study Apparel Industry Management. Her plan is to merge that new knowledge with her law degree to specialize in Intellectual Property Law as it relates to the fashion industry.

“In the future I hope to continue employing lessons from my time at Liberty — fully taking advantage of every opportunity before me — not just in my academic pursuits, but in other areas as well,” Turnquest said. “My Liberty degree will continue to underpin my professional pursuits as it provides a strong foundation in the understanding of human behavior.”

She also encourages current Liberty students to take advantage of all that the university offers.

“There are always wonderful opportunities to accelerate or supplement education, or even to gain practical experience. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra work, but it is definitely worth the extra effort for all that it will give you in the long run,” she said.