Child prodigy Aussie is a month older than BPTC graduate Gabrielle Turnquest when she was called to the bar in 2013
Wunderkind Jozef Erece has become one of the world’s youngest solicitors aged just 18.
The child prodigy was last week admitted to Queensland’s roll of legal practitioners after racing through a law degree and the Australian equivalent of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before his 19th birthday next month.
Aussie law graduates are awarded the title of “solicitor” upon completion of law school, rather than at the end of their training contract-style on-the-job phase of training.
No stranger to the spotlight, Erece made headlines earlier this year when in June he became the University of South Queensland’s youngest ever law graduate. He passed his university entrance exam in his 11th school year and became a law undergrad in 2012 aged just 15.
Following graduation, Erece enrolled onto Queensland University of Technology’s Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) — the Aussie LPC equivalent. Quite unlike the situation here in the UK, under Queensland Law Society regulations prospective solicitors can apply for admission to the roll without having undergone a two-year traineeship. GDLP graduates can apply for a restricted practising certificate, which affords them practising rights, albeit in limited form.
As you might expect of anyone deserving of “world’s youngest solicitor” status, Erece has previous in high-achievement. By the age of three the child prodigy was reading, and, according to newspaper reports, he had his first book published at eight. When he was just 13, he followed up his reported literary success by becoming New Zealand’s youngest Tai Kwondo instructor. Described as an all-rounder by his amazed former teachers, he also apparently excelled in sport and music during his school career.
Still, his ascendency to lawyer status at such an early stage has tested even this superhuman — with Erece acknowledging to the Brisbane Courier Mail that his latest achievement required some graft. He explained:
I’ve had to study for several hours a day. I do acknowledge I’ve got strengths in academia.
Not yet satisfied with his lot, Erece is planning on becoming a barrister — in Australia students must first qualify as solicitors in order to be eligible for the bar — and also expects to supplement his burgeoning academic CV with a postgraduate degree.
Erece’s success recalls that of 2013 headline-maker Gabrielle Turnquest, who at 18 — a couple of months Erece’s junior, no less — became the youngest person to qualify as a barrister in England & Wales in 600 years. She completed her Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) aged just 17 and was called to the bar after she successfully completing the BPTC at the University of Law.
18 year-old becomes youngest ever barrister after passing BPTC [Legal Cheek]