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Tulare County’s Newest Criminal Prosecutor Is Just 18 Years Old and Made California History

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Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward swears in Peter Park, the youngest person to pass the Bar in California history, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Tulare County District Attorney's Office)
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Before even being considered a legal adult, one of the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office law clerks became the youngest person to pass the Bar exam and one of the youngest to practice law.

When Peter Park got the results of his exam, he found out that, at 17 years of age, he had become the youngest person in California history to pass the rigorous test, according to a news release from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

“It was not easy, but it was worth it,” Park said. “It required discipline and strategy to pass the Bar, and I made it in the end. I am extremely blessed to have discovered this path, and my hope is that more people will realize that alternative paths exist to becoming an attorney.”

After passing the Bar it didn’t take long for the DA’s office to deputize him. Park, originally from Anaheim, had to wait until he turned 18 years old to become an attorney. He turned 18 in late November. He was sworn in on Tuesday. Now, he will be handling criminal prosecutions.

“I aspire to become a prosecutor because I am driven by a moral obligation to uphold liberty, equality, and justice in society,” Park said. “I admire how prosecutors keep our community safe and bring closure to victims.”

Peter Park, Tulare County Deputy District Attorney (Tulare County District Attorney’s Office)

Attended High School and Law School at the Same Time

Park began high school in 2019 at Oxford Academy in Cypress, CA. At the same time, he began the four-year juris doctor program at Northwestern California University School of Law. A state bar rule allows non-high school graduates to apply to law school if they pass the College Level Proficiency Exam.

In 2021, Park graduated high school. Two years later, Park graduated law school, By July, he had taken the Bar exam and became a law clerk for Tulare County in August. The previous record holder for youngest person to pass the Bar was 18 years old.

Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.