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Sunday, July 14, 2024

16-year-old girl bags two degrees at US university, graduates as a Lawyer at 19

A 16-year-old girl named Charmaine Chien-Yu Chui who graduated from California State University, United States with two degrees has achieved another feat as she graduates from Law School at the young age of 19.

Charmaine, a Los Angeles native graduated from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, United States with a Juris Doctorate and earned one of the highest number of pro bono hours in her graduating class: 182.

She also made history as the youngest ever student to graduate from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. “Anything you do, it’s always going to be hard work. It’s going to take intentional effort to move forward and achieve the goals you set for yourself,” she said.

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Charmaine’s mother homeschooled her mother up until the end of high school before she later enrolled in California State University, Los Angeles at the age of 16. She graduated from the university with dual degrees in Psychology and Criminal justice.

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“During that time, I was just at home. My mom would enroll me in a bunch of classes in standard subjects: English, math, history, some science,” she said.. “

Upon graduation, Charmaine proceeded to Arizona State University Law School with the O’Connor Honors Fellowship. At the end of her first year in Law School, she earned the Thomas Tang Scholarship from the Arizona Asian American Bar Association.

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Charmaine said she initially planned to become a forensic psychologist at university, where she was part of a research lab that primarily studied eyewitness identification procedures and juror bias.




However, listening to her professor talk about the various trials he testified in helped her realize she was interested in legal issues.

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Charmaine said her Introduction to Criminal Law class, taught by a judge who was a former prosecutor, solidified law school as the next step for her. Another achievement for Charmaine is that she is the first person in her family to attend law school.

She mentioned that she never thought about becoming an attorney when she was younger, but she feels very lucky to have had the opportunity to pursue her dreams.

Charmaine credits her teachers and classmates for helping her along the way. She thanked them for not treating her like she was the youngest but rather investing in her success.

“I was never treated as the youngest law student or the person who would become the youngest law graduate. My classmates always treated me as an equal, as a peer. I feel like my professors were just as invested in my success as they were in the success of any of my other classmates,” she said.



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