We recently reported that whippersnapper Aaron Parnas is starting his first year at George Washington University Law School at the tender age of 18.
It got us thinking: Who else went to law school as a mere child, and what happened to them? Did they go on to accomplish great things? Did they flame out? Are they pushing up daisies?
Take a look below. It’s pretty impressive – and not necessarily in a good way.
University of Miami School of Law graduate, age 16
Stephen Baccus graduated from law school in 1986. Fun fact: At age 8, he appeared with comedian Jerry Lewis in the movie, “Hardly Working.” Following law school graduation, he was admitted to the Florida bar at the age of 17 and was believed to be the youngest licensed attorney in the United States at the time. He was prevented from sitting for the New York bar exam, which requires applicants to be at least 21. Today, Baccus, 48, and is an associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford University. At the school’s Baccus Lab, he studies how the circuitry of the retina translates what we see into electrical impulses in the optic nerve. Reached by email, Baccus said law school was “excellent training, and the skills transfer to other fields.”
Harvard Law School graduate, age 19
The name Kiwi Camara might ring a bell for several reasons. There was the 2002 dustup over his unfortunate use of a racial slur in a Harvard Law torts outline, which he wrote as a first-year at the age of 17. (The resulting student outrage and the school’s reaction was dissected in the pages of the New Yorker, no less.) Then there was Camara’s 2009 much-hyped pro bono representation of the defendant in the United States’ first file-sharing copyright infringement case brought by a major record label to go to trial. (The defendant was found liable for sharing 24 copyrighted songs with the public and was ordered to pay $222,000.) There’s no denying that Camara has had a colorful legal career thus far. He clerked for Judge Harris Hartz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit after graduating law school in 2004. He then co-founded the Houston firm Camara & Sibley in 2009 before leaving in 2013. Today, Camara, 33, is the chief executive officer of e-Discovery firm CS Disco Inc.
Columbia Law School graduate, age 20
An attorney for Donald Trump during the president’s early years in real estate, Cohn became famous for investigating suspected communists during McCarthyism of the 1950s, and he prosecuted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for espionage. In the 1970s, he represented Trump in filing a counterclaim against the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ alleged Trump’s corporation quoted different rental rates to blacks and falsely asserted “no vacancy” for blacks looking for apartments. The unsuccessful counterclaim asserted those allegations were baseless. Cohn was disbarred in 1986 for misappropriating client funds, among other things. He died that same year at the age of 59.
Yale Law School graduate, age 22
Ronan Farrow’s bio includes plenty of notable tidbits, not the least of which is his star-studded parentage. Farrow is the son of actress Mia Farrow and film director Woody Allen, though speculation swirled in 2013 that Frank Sinatra may actually be his father. Farrow has racked up plenty of impressive accomplishments on his own, however, including graduating from Bard College at 15 and enrolling at Yale Law School in 2009 at age 16. Farrow was a summer associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell but landed in government service after graduation, where he was appointed by President Obama as a special advisor managing the U.S. government’s relationships with non-governmental organizations and other entities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He later hosted a short-lived news show on MSNBC. Today, Farrow, 29, is an investigative reporter for NBC News, appearing on the Today Show and other programs.
New York University School of Law graduate, age 19
Rittenband was a state judge in Los Angeles for much of his career, where he presided over Elvis Presley’s divorce from Priscilla Presley and actor Marlon Brando’s child custody case. Perhaps his most famous case involved Roman Polanski, the film director accused of drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Gailey. After Polanski, who previously was married to Sharon Tate, the actress murdered by the Manson Family, pleaded to a lesser charge, he fled to France while awaiting sentencing from Rittenband, who had ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Polanski. Rittenband was later removed from the case. He died in 1993 at the age of 88.
Kissandra Cohen Tysman
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles graduate, age 20
At the time she was admitted to the California the bar, Kissandra Cohen was identified as the youngest lawyer in the state. While still in law school, she was hired in 1999 by Masry & Vititoe, the law firm made famous by the Julia Roberts’ movie “Erin Brockovich.” Within a year, she sued Ed Masry and the firm for sexual harassment, but lost that case in 2002, although she did recover a year’s salary of $120,000. She also sued notorious private investigator Anthony Pellicano for allegedly wiretapping her phone during the litigation against Masry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit threw the case out because it was filed too late. She eventually opened Tysman Law Group in Phoenix as Kissandra Tysman. According to court records, Kissandra Tysman was disbarred in 2016 for client trust account violations, among other charges. Attempts to reach Tysman were unsuccessful.
Harvard Law School graduate, age 20
Kelly Yang recognized fairly early in her law school career that a legal practice was not for her. “The job of a corporate lawyer, to me, was dry and boring,” Yang said in a 2011 interview. That’s pretty insightful considering Yang wasn’t even out of her teens when her classmates at Harvard Law School were interviewing for summer jobs at the nation’s toniest law firms. Yang already had plenty of experience being the youngest in the room before arriving in Cambridge. She enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley at 13 after moving to the United States from China at age 6. She started her legal studies at Harvard when she was 17 years old. After graduating law school in 2005, Yang founded the Kelly Yang Project, an afterschool program in Hong Kong that focuses on writing and debate skills. Today, Yang, 32, is a columnist writing about education for the South China Morning Post and has also authored three children’s books.
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