Haley Taylor Schlitz just graduated from the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, making her the school's youngest Black graduate ever.
Meet Haley Taylor Schlitz. In 2019, she made headlines when she received acceptance letters from nine law schools across the United States. At the time, she was only 16 years old. Now, after three long years of hard work, she has graduated from the Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law at the age of 19. This makes her the youngest Black student to graduate from the school, based in Dallas, Texas. Following her graduation, Schlitz took a moment to celebrate with her family. She will soon begin her prep for the state bar exam. The young graduate hopes to work in educational policy or teach, Good Morning America reports.
Proud to #PonyUP tonight & make #HERstory. Yes this happened earlier today at @SMULawSchool . I am now 19 with a JD. #Thankful for my family & village for their support for my education journey. #19WithAJD #HERstoryMaker #LawSchoolLife pic.twitter.com/5KOTCCnAUv— Haley Taylor Schlitz (@HTaylorSchlitz) May 14, 2022
"It has just been a lot of buildup and it is really exciting to take off," Schlitz said in an interview with the media outlet. "My village is a huge part of my motivation to keep going. My mom has been probably my absolute biggest motivator, my biggest supporter, the person that I look up to the most. She is an ER doctor and so for the longest time, I wanted to be an ER doctor, but even after wanting to be an attorney, and now going to law school, she is still somebody that is such a huge life counselor, such a great advisor for me." Over the weekend, Schlitz celebrated her big achievement with her family. Then, on Monday, she got cracking on her prep for the state bar exam.
Tomorrow I make #HERSTORY as the youngest #Black person to ever graduate from #lawschool in the history of the USA. My family is celebrating with a toast for #BlackGirlMagic with Black Girl Magic by @McBrideSisters pic.twitter.com/Ew7Sb4yHmC— Haley Taylor Schlitz (@HTaylorSchlitz) May 12, 2022
When Schlitz was first interviewed by Good Morning America, she said she wanted to "help other students and fight for equity." It appears nothing has changed for the young graduate. Indeed, her will to help others has grown stronger. She shared, "I absolutely feel that even more strongly now. It is so much more tangible. I am so close to actually being able to make that impact that I have been talking about... Write that legislation, really get active."
On my way to becoming the first #GenZ lawyer. I can promise I will not backdown from defending #GenZ & advocating for what we know is true. Looking forward to engaging policy makers on what #GenZ is expecting. #19andGettingMyJD #BlackGenZ #BlackGirlMagic #BlackGirlsRock pic.twitter.com/LhSoyu6L2M— Haley Taylor Schlitz (@HTaylorSchlitz) May 7, 2022
According to Schlitz, her two favorite courses at law school were criminal law and torts law. In the near future, she hopes to work in educational policy or teach. "I have quite a few job offers and right now," she stated. "It just depends on where I want to be in the country." For those searching for their own success, the 19-year-old offered some advice: "You do not find your path," she affirmed. "You make it. Take life by the reins, by the horns, and just really make what you want your reality."
A little over 3 years ago I had the honor to introduce then Sen Harris & POTUS Candidate to voters in DFW. My favorite picture is her backstage listening & smiling to my introduction of her. Picture 2 is her finding out I was 16 & starting law school. #khive @DeborahWPeoples pic.twitter.com/xyk4nNnFwh— Haley Taylor Schlitz (@HTaylorSchlitz) April 2, 2022
In addition to this, Schlitz encouraged others to take advantage of all the opportunities that may come their way. She said, "It is okay to make mistakes. Just go back to your foundation and build up again and do not be confined to boxes or stereotypes or when other people are trying to say whether it is no or yes. It is really up to you." If you want to follow along on her journey, you can check out her updates on Twitter by clicking here.