8 career lessons we learnt from talking to the youngest barrister ever
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19-year-old Gabrielle Turnquest is likely to make you feel like a little bit of an underachiever: having qualified at the age of 18 from the University of Law and passed the UK Bar exams, she’s now the youngest person in 600 years to have qualified as a barrister in this country. Her career echoes that seen in hit US legal drama Suits, which also follows a young and impassioned lawyer with a talent that belies his age. Gabrielle is pretty modest, though, for the holder of such an accolade. She’s the youngest barrister “not ever”, she points out: “let’s go with what we have records for.” Still, we’d say that’s pretty impressive. Now back at home in the US, where she’s about to embark on a career in fashion law, we caught up with her to discuss her achievements so far, her inspiration – and her love of a good courthouse TV drama. 1. If you think you might buckle under the pressure to achieve amazing things straightaway, remove yourself from it – that way you can get on with it on your own. “I don’t think I’ve had as much pressure as I would have had had I remained in the UK. Being back in the US has taken a load off. People are shocked, and probably would’ve asked more of me, but I haven’t necessarily been in a situation where I would face a lot of pressure.” 2. Sometimes, it’s important to give yourself a break. On downtime: “I watch a lot of TV... I watch a lot of courtroom dramas: Suits, The Good Wife, comedies, reality TV...” And on the all-important summer holidays: “at the moment I’m in Florida, but I’m going to go to California – I’m just on a break until July.” 3. There’s a lot that can be said for multitasking.
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