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20-Year-Old Prosecutor: Young Cooley Grad Sworn Into Florida Bar

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

She can't buy you a drink, but she could put you behind bars. Robyn Crawford was sworn into the Florida Bar last Thursday at the tender young age of 20. Crawford will be working as an associate state attorney -- after graduating from Cooley Law School, no less.

So, how did this legal Doogie Howser get into the state bar before being legally allowed into an actual bar?

A Quick Learner -- or at Least a Rushed One

It seems Crawford started taking college classes when she was just 14, got her bachelors at 18, and graduated law school in just two years and a semester. According to Crawford, she had decided on a legal career when she was just 16, having been inspired by her experience as a volunteer in "Youth Court," an alternative justice program in which "youth sentence their peers for minor delinquent and status offenses." From there, it was a quick rush through college, law school, and the bar exam to jump straight into the prosecutor's office.

And yes, law school snobs, Crawford graduated from that Cooley law school. We were a bit shocked as well. Cooley, you might remember, was once ranked the second best law school in the country -- just behind Harvard Law, but beating out Yale. Of course, that was by Cooley's own ranking system, which excluded "highly subjective criteria" like "reputation" and "admissions practices." (Cooley has since stopped ranking itself and even beat back a class action by former law students who claimed its marketing was deceptive.)

When not beating out Yale, Cooley grads often have a hard time finding work. (But doesn't everyone these days?) Just 53 percent of its 2013 graduates found full time jobs. That didn't stop Crawford, however, who claims Cooley's "practice-ready curriculum" is to thank for her success.

Not the World's Youngest Lawyer

Of course, while Crawford's early success is impressive, she's a bit of an old maid when it comes to youngest lawyers. In 2013, 18-year-old Gabrielle Turnquest became the youngest person to pass the bar exam -- in England. Turnquest, who like Crawford comes from Florida, was the youngest person to ever qualify as a barrister in the profession's 600 year history, according to The Telegraph.

Crawford has also been beat Down Under. Liuzhuo "Aletta" Chen became a registered lawyer in Australia at just 19. But Crawford shouldn't feel too bad. Both England and Australia are still ruled by a Queen, which is ridiculous, and don't require that lawyers obtain a juris doctor before practicing.

So feel free to toast Crawford's success -- just don't offer her any of the champagne.

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