Bristol Uni grad becomes one of the youngest people to pass the New York Bar

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By Roya Shahidi, News Reporter

Jasmine Gratton passed the bar exam aged just 21 years old after graduating from Bristol last year.

A recent Bristol University graduate, Jasmine Gratton, has passed the New York bar exam.

Jasmine finished her LLB at Bristol university in 2020 before studying at Fordham University, where she has achieved the impressive feat.

She was among the 2,130 candidates for the New York bar in the February 2021 sitting. The overall pass rate was 49%, dropping to 43% among foreign-educated candidates.

US law degrees are only offered at postgraduate level, so the majority of candidates for the New York bar are older, making Jasmine one of the youngest people to ever pass the New York bar exam.

Speaking to Epigram, Jasmine said: ‘I studied for six months leading up the exam, so it felt like there was a lot of emotion going into it and it was nice as it sort of felt the same coming out of it. I’m certainly glad it’s over but I feel like I learned a lot from the journey.’

Gratton also discussed the challenges of completing during the Covid-19 pandemic and personally overcoming the coronavirus.

‘It was definitely a challenge because I studied the first half of the course thinking that it was going to be in-person,’ she said, ‘and then the announcement was made that it would be remote, so I had to adjust my studying style to better suit an online exam.

‘Getting COVID was a massive setback for me. It happened a month before the exam and I was really sick for a couple days, so I wasn’t able to study for almost a week, which is a super important amount of time when getting that close to the exam.

Jasmine (second from right) at a mooting competition during her time at Bristol University | Jasmine Gratton

‘One of the long-term effects after being sick was really bad nausea so I actually had a bucket next to me during the exam just in case I was going to be sick because you have to maintain eye contact with the camera or else you get flagged.’

She also added some advice, saying: ‘I would definitely recommend trying to find someone who has done a similar path to what you’re considering and getting in touch with them, just because having that mentorship or someone to look up to or even ask basic questions can be so helpful.

‘As for what it takes, it definitely takes resilience and a willingness to jump into the dark and essentially take a leap of faith.

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‘I was the first person from my school to study at the University of Bristol so that was a big leap of faith. Once I started taking risks, I was willing to take bigger ones.’

Gratton is currently studying an LLM at Fordham University on intellectual property and information technology. She plans to go into intellectual property in the future.

Featured Image: Jasmine Gratton / Lucy O’Neill


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