A 15-year-old Mississippi boy is reportedly preparing to start law school later this year and has the chance to become one of the youngest people ever to obtain a juris doctorate.
James “Jimmy” Chilimigras took the law school entrance exam last year when he was just 14 and scored a 174, the highest tally in his home state, Alabama and Louisiana, according to a report from the news station WLOX, which covers his home town of Bay St Louis, Mississippi.
Jimmy, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the online, non-profit Western Governors University, told WLOX he is giving himself until May to choose which law school he will attend. But, he made it clear: “I’m going to law school in August – that’s going to be in person, so that’s interesting, [and] I’m really looking forward to it, actually.”
Law school in the US typically takes three years to complete. If Jimmy finishes his studies in that time frame, he would be one of the world’s youngest law school graduates, according to a list compiled by the history and culture website oldest.org.
The eighth-youngest law school graduate in the world was Kelly Yang of China, who finished at Harvard University in 2005 when she was 20. Oldest.org says the globe’s youngest known law school graduate is Stephen Baccus of Florida, who completed his studies at the University of Miami at age 16 in 1986.
Some on oldest.org’s list did not ultimately pursue careers as attorneys. Yang went on to become a South China Morning Post columnist, and Baccus later decided to work as a neurobiology professor.
Jimmy’s parents, John and Erin Chilimigras, told WLOX that they realized early on that their son was highly intelligent. He spoke in full sentences when he was only two years old, and he received a diploma from St John Paul the Great high school in Bay St Louis at the unusually early age of 12.
“We always knew he was bright, but I don’t think we expected he would accomplish so much so fast,” Erin Chilimigras said to WLOX.
According to what John Chilimigras told WLOX, that isn’t to say everything came easily to his son. Jimmy struggled with reading comprehension, for instance, despite his interest in reading, the boy prodigy’s father recounted.
“We had to have some outside help to help him diagnose and when they worked through plan of figuring out how his mind worked,” John Chilimigras added in his remarks to WLOX.
Jimmy explained his trajectory by saying he simply likes learning and challenging himself, and his parents were dedicated to encouraging his interest in doing that.
“When I did well at something, we kept moving up, so it wasn’t easy,” Jimmy said. “My parents did a good job keeping me challenged.”
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