Texas Teen Who Graduated Law School At 19 Aims to Revolutionize Education Policy

by Gee NY
Haley Taylor Schlitz, 19, graduated last week from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law. Image: Tal Campbell

Haley Taylor Schlitz, at just 19 years old, made history as the youngest graduate of Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.

She received her Juris Doctor degree in an inspiring commencement ceremony back in 2022.

Not only did she become the youngest graduate in the law school’s history, but Taylor Schlitz believes she also became the youngest Black law school graduate in the nation at the time.

Her journey to this milestone began with finishing high school at the age of 13 and completing her undergraduate degree in education by 16, all before embarking on her legal education at the Dallas-based Dedman School of Law.

Taylor Schlitz’s ambition is deeply rooted in her passion for transforming the U.S. education system, aiming to leverage her law degree to focus on educational policy.

Reflecting on her achievement, Taylor Schlitz emphasized the importance of diversity in the legal profession, noting the incremental progress in increasing non-white representation in law schools over the years.

She stressed the need for people of color to have a voice and presence in predominantly white spaces, advocating for greater inclusion and representation.

While Taylor Schlitz encountered challenges, particularly in her legal research and writing class during her first semester, she found value in the diverse perspectives of her fellow students.

Touching on the real-world applicability of her law school experience in an interview, she touted the absence of a rigid hierarchy based on age, unlike in traditional schooling environments. She said she enjoyed being in a law school class with students of varying ages.

Looking ahead, Taylor Schlitz is focused on preparing for the bar exam in July, immediately after graduation.

She’s evaluating job offers from various cities, including Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., with a commitment to making a meaningful impact in her chosen field.

Despite her youth, Taylor Schlitz’s determination and dedication underscore her potential to effect positive change in education policy and beyond.

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