Haley Taylor Schlitz is about to take the world of law and order by storm by becoming the youngest person to attend Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. Haley is only 16 years old. Her academic prowess and years of hard work have earned her acceptance letters from a brag-worthy nine law schools, but SMU is her school of choice, partly so she can live at home with her family.
“It’s going to be my next thing,” she told NBC 5.
So, why law?
“I looked back at my own story,” Haley shared with Law.com, “and realized the inequities there are in the education system, especially in the gifted and talented program with girls and girls of color. It sparked a fire in me and made me want to fight for equality,” the passionate teen continued. And she had her parents’ full support, plus a bright idea: “My mom and dad said, ‘Well, you can be a lawyer.'”
Due to her young age in comparison to her academic peers, Haley has had to battle with the naysayers for some time. Not to mention, she was homeschooled until the age of 13, which set her apart from her classmates. “I think it’s about being diligent and working hard and not really letting people get to you,” she shared, “because I have been told ‘No’ all along the journey.”
More exciting news! I was accepted into the SMU Dedman School of Law. SMU is a top 50 law school in the nation (and #2…
One person who has always fervently believed in her, however, is Haley’s father, William Schlitz. Mr. Schlitz himself has felt duty bound to defend his daughter and the family’s choices against critique from other people. Homeschooling may appear controversial to some, against the more widely understood and standardized curriculum of mainstream schooling, but Mr. Schlitz maintains that his daughter didn’t miss a beat.
“She took the regular standardized test,” Mr. Schlitz told NBC 5, speaking of Haley’s examinations. “Haley was in the big room taking the test with everybody else.” Haley was not eligible for any exemptions because of her homeschooling, and there were no “scandals,” Mr. Schlitz explained. The 16-year-old earned her spot in the ranking, just like everybody else.
Haley is bolstered by the love and support of her caring family. Her father’s pride is undeniable. “She’s so beautiful and she’s so smart and she just works so hard,” he shared. “It’s really moving for me … The best title I have ever had is Haley’s dad.”
Haley’s younger siblings share her passion for study, too, and have also both enrolled in college to study alongside students way beyond their tender years in age. Haley’s 13-year-old brother is a college freshman, and, not to be outdone, her 11-year-old sister is a freshman in high school.
But Haley is setting the bar high for her industrious siblings, and only time will tell whether the whole family will follow in her mighty footsteps: the teen is also a published author. “Actually my mom and I published a book!” Haley explained. “I have a book on home school called ‘The Homeschool Alternative.'” Haley has turned her unique educational experience into an accessible manual-cum-memoir for anybody who has questions about alternatives to mainstream education in general, and Haley’s experience in particular.
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Haley, for one, can certainly testify to its efficacy.
Haley will graduate from Texas Woman’s University in May of 2019 with a well-earned and long-desired bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. Law.com reported that Haley will spend the summer preparing for law school and will attend a six-day program with the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington for students embarking on the study of law.
Haley is ready. “For me, it’s like, I just want to constantly keep learning and keep going,” she shared.