A New Zealand-born teenager has gone on to be the youngest law graduate in the Southern Hemisphere at the age of 18.
Jozef Erece, 18, graduated from the University of Southern Queensland on Friday with a Bachelor of Laws.
New Zealand born and raised, Erece graduated as dux of St. Peter’s Catholic School in Cambridge at the age of 11.
He was offered a place at both Stanford University and Oxford University in courses for gifted children at the age of 10, but instead opted for a law degree.
He enrolled at Waikato University’s law school in 2012 – as the youngest entrant on record.
Graduating at an age when many of his law school peers would have started their degrees, Erece has been hailed by the Australian Scholarships Group as the “youngest lawyer to graduate at 18 years in the Southern Hemisphere”.
He will be able to practice law in Australia after he completes his Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice at the Queensland University of Technology and gains admission.
From there, he is considering opportunities at the Bar and postgraduate study.
"Whether through law, commerce, politics, the academia or otherwise, my humanist aspiration to precipitate empirically positive change will remain a constant,” Erece said.
Aside from being a recent law graduate, Erece is a Taekwondo black-belt holder, a semi-professional basketball player and an orchestra violinist. He became a member of New Zealand’s taekwondo Olympic demonstration team when he was only nine.
Erece is not the only young graduate to receive a law degree. Last year, 19 year old graduate Liuzhuo Chen was admitted as a lawyer in Victoria, giving rise to speculation that she may be the state’s youngest ever lawyer.