This 19-year-old just became her university’s youngest-ever law school graduate

Haley Taylor Schlitz, 19, is the youngest person to ever graduate from Southern Methodist...
Haley Taylor Schlitz, 19, is the youngest person to ever graduate from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law.(Southern Methodist University)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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DALLAS (Gray News) – A 19-year-old woman has just become the youngest person to ever graduate from law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

At age 16, Haley Taylor Schlitz was accepted into nine law schools across the country. She chose SMU’s Dedman School of Law, and three years later, she is now the school’s youngest law graduate ever, according to a news release from SMU.

Taylor Schlitz graduated Friday, and she plans to work on education policy issues for an elected official or non-profit organization. She is also interested in increasing the opportunities for gifted and talented girls and students of color.

As a fifth grader, Taylor Schlitz was not accepted into her public school’s gifted program. But her parents disagreed, knowing their daughter was gifted. So, they decided to homeschool her to better meet her educational needs, according to SMU.

“Many girls and students of color are left out of our nation’s gifted and talented programs,” Taylor Schlitz said in the news release. “Society will lose out on the potential scientist who cures a major disease, the entrepreneur who starts the next Amazon and so much more. All because of their gender and/or skin color.”

Through homeschooling, Taylor Schlitz graduated high school at age 13. By age 16, she had her undergraduate degree from Texas Woman’s University and was heading to law school.

Several media outlets are calling Taylor Schlitz the youngest Black law school graduate in the United States, but SMU could not independently confirm that to Gray News.

In her free time, Taylor Schlitz serves as a mentor in the Young Scholar Program, an organization in which young Black women mentor young Black girls to help them develop leadership skills. She is also a recurring opinion columnist for several media outlets and has published a book with her mother.

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