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Law School Bans An Eight–Year–Old Boy

Eight–Year–Old Boy Wants To Go To Law School . . . Now

When we asked you if you would let your child pursue a career, you were pretty split on the issue. In Olympia, Washington, the 10–year–girl needed her parents to accompany her through her work day. However, things are different in Brazil.

To see what a boy genius is up against,


The New York Times reports that an eight–year–old Brazilian boy passed an entrance exam for Paulista University Law School. Problem is the institution is keeping him from attending as they want him to first complete grade school and high school.

While the child is obviously bright beyond his years, it doesn't seem to be an unreasonable request to have him finish the regular academic regimen. He'll likely breeze through ten years of schooling in no time! But, his papa doesn't agree. He's taking it to court to let the judges rule on the decision.

In the meantime, the Education Ministry has been asked to bar elementary school students from taking the test.

Tell us, do you think it's irrational to ask the tot to finish his regular schooling?

Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
I think the the Brazilian government is right to slow this kid down a bit. Would you trust yourself to a ten year old lawyer? If someone gave him milk and cookies you might lose your case. Let him finish some sort of an advanced course level and enter law school at a later time deemed sufficient.
ntshlv ntshlv 9 years
Being from Brazil, I feel I need to explain this a bit further... The acceptance system to our universities is a bit different than in the US. This particular Law School is know for not being a very good one and the acceptance exam consists of only 50 questions divided into portuguese, foreign language, geography, physics, math, literature, history, chemistry and biology. They're multiple choice questions with 5 possible choices each. Let's just say it's not a very respected admission process. Anyone who's marginally intelligent can just guess everything, say, on the same letter and, depending on the perfomance of the others candidates, get a passing grade. I'm not saying this boy is not intelligent, just that the news posted here did not have all the facts. Had he passed the selection process for one of the more serious, well respected universities, I might be inclined to think he might be a genius, but Unip being what it is, my guess is these parents are just trying to get a little publicity, for whatever reason.
Jessie-M Jessie-M 9 years
There is a reason universities and colleges ask for examples of your life experience on applications-it matters! This boy may be able to learn everything in theory,which is great, but he lacks the maturity to enter university, especially focusing on law. What 8 year old do you know could hear the grisly details of a rape/murder, focus on them for a class, and not end up seriously warped/affected in the long run? This boy needs life experience and time to mature! If he can complete elementary and high school quickly, thats great, but university is no place for a child.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
No, even though he'll be loads smarter than the other kids, he still needs to learn social skills and other necessary skills that aren't provided by books.
JessieSP JessieSP 9 years
I think completing the other schools would be a big plus for him even though he's pretty intelligent. I think he should be asked to attend Law School and complete the others at the same time IF he thinks he can. OR he should be given a certain amount of time, such as a year or two, to complete all grades before he goes into Law School officially. In other words the child should have private schooling. If he can complete or skip a grade early then he should. A lot of kids are still able to skip a grade if they are highly intelligent and can move on ahead of the other children. So he should be allowed to also. But in my opinion he still needs to touch basis on the little things that are taught to other children throughout their schooling.
Sammi_784 Sammi_784 9 years
this child obviously excels in law, but he may not be so clever in other areas. instead of going to a regular school, does brazil have schools for gifted children? a place where he will be pushed in all subjects, rather than just the one. on the other hand, if he is too young to go to the university, why was he allowed to take the exam in the first place?
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I believe in encouraging any gifted children to explore, create, do anything they can. We are in such a consumer society, it is good to see a child who doesn't just want to watch and take in but take actions in their life. I have no problem with the little girl working as a vet tech - and I think as long as the parents emphasize that it is up to her to make a change at any time, rather than treat it as though she's made a lifelong decision at 10 it can be a good thing for her. I think sometimes we think 'kids are kids' and forget that kids are becoming adults and need to be allowed to grow up and take on responsibilities to gain maturity. However, I am a lawyer, and while I do think a child could learn all sorts of technical things, the discretion and ethical considerations involved in my career are difficult for me (with my nearly 20 years more than him). Studying and learning is fine - but to allow a child to go to law school and practice is a little terrifying to me.
sweetnshy5282 sweetnshy5282 9 years
he should have some more education before he goes to college. If he is too advanced to for some of the grades then he will be skipped ahead. but he really needs dome more schooling not to mention life experience before he goes off to a higher education!
sundrops sundrops 9 years
I think they could homeschool him and help him finish up earlier. BUT the child needs to emotionally develop, not just academically develop and that's going to take time.
potc-crazyy potc-crazyy 9 years
@macgirl: iawtc! No matter how brilliant he is, social skills are needed. And that ha s nothing to do with intelligence, it has to do with experience. He would miss out on his childhood, and could end up being like Michael Jackson or something. (Peter Pan Complex?)
Namtaro Namtaro 9 years
It's not irrational - in fact, its in the child's and the public's best interest. I skipped a couple of grades and started university at 16. If I had gotten into law school @ 20, I would have lacked the maturity and life experience to be a good, GROUNDED lawyer. An eight year old would not have a chance.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
Ummmm...I don't understand that there'd be any case. He isn't qualified for a university program, end of story. Maybe he can test out of elementary and middle school and take college courses while in high school, but c'mon. That better be thrown out right away.
bastille_75 bastille_75 9 years
Didn't Doogie Howser have to complete high-school while he was going through his medical program ;)
macgirl macgirl 9 years
If he is smart enough to pass a University entrance exam wouldn't elementary school be boring for him? When kids get bored in school it can be a bad thing. It however seems very wrong to let an 8 year old go to law school and miss out on his youth. Seems like the parents should know best but I've known parents that push their kids for the wrong reason. This just makes me feel a bit sad for the little guy, like he's destined to not have a normal childhood :-(
gumdrop05 gumdrop05 9 years
I skipped a grade and turned out fine, but I do think he should have to complete at least the majority of his regular academic schooling. In a lot of ways I'm glad I skipped as it gave me an edge, but skipping that many years is a bit much. Why are kids that young allowed to take the test anyway?
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 9 years
No, he should finish his regular education if only to stall college. Regardless of how intelligent a child is, at 8 years old that child does not yet possess the mental maturity to undertake the program. The stress, competition and expectations placed on law students just is too intense for an 8 year old to handle. Period. What's best for his mind might not be what's best for his life. Come on people.
skilledatlife4 skilledatlife4 9 years
Kids should be kids! Ugh! This really frustrates me. Of course he's obviously bright in this field and when it comes to booksmarts, but he still needs to grow and mature through regular schooling to function like an adult really would in the work place. Same with the other girl. I could have gone to my state university when I was eleven if I wanted to, but I would have missed out on a lot. I never would have learned physics or european history or other things.
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