Look out world, here comes Jimmy Chilimigras, a 15-year-old from Bay St. Louis who already holds two accounting degrees and is now preparing for law school.
And before graduating high school at just 12 years old and achieving a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, Jimmy told his parents he wanted to be a judge and help people who are struggling.
“We told him the best judges, whether appointed or elected, are people that have an honest desire to help others, are intensely ethical, and who know the most about the law,” said Jimmy’s father, John Chilimigras. “With this in mind, he started considering law school possibilities.”
Jimmy started with accounting because he wanted to challenge himself while accumulating the requirements to attend law school.
“He learned that he had a real talent for accounting and finance and that he enjoys it, sometimes things just work out that way,” Chilimigras said.
In some aspects, Jimmy is a typical teenager who loves camping, fishing, hiking, and disc golf, and was eager to get his driver’s permit and learn to drive.
“He still has all the struggles and joys of being young, such as the excitement of learning to drive and getting that first learner’s permit,” Chilimigras said.
In reality, Jimmy finished the driving permit test and was out the door of the Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles in a record-setting less than 10 minutes.
“I went outside to my car, took a quick phone call, and then picked up a book when there was a knock on the window,” Chilimigras said. “I was a little worried that there was a problem, but Jimmy quickly informed me that the test was done. He was so excited to get the permit that the 30-question test took him six minutes according to the DMV administrator. I joked that he better not be that enthusiastic with the gas pedal on the ride home.”
Currently, Jimmy has been offered three merit-based full scholarships to law schools and plans to pursue his natural talent—tax law. He’s already a certified tax preparer and he volunteers each Saturday at a local library offering free tax services to those in need.
“Jimmy likes tax law because he’s noticed that taxes and financial issues cause most people a lot of anxiety,” his father said proudly. “When you relieve the root cause of a person’s stress it’s just a happy moment as it allows them to now focus on how wonderful life is without some of that constant anxiety.”
Since Jimmy’s mind is puzzle-oriented he sees tax preparation as a fun, but challenging way of contributing and giving back to his community.
“It’s kinda like doing a puzzle with a big payoff if done professionally and correctly,” Chilimigras said.
When his father purchased preparation books for the Law School Admission Test, Jimmy was like a five-year-old picking out his favorite candy.
“Getting those books was exciting for him in the way that getting a new video game was exciting for me when I was his age,” Chilimigras said. “Erin and I have never had to tell Jimmy to study, some kids just enjoy learning and mental challenges just like other kids enjoy playing soccer and physical challenges, or social media and social challenges like running a youtube channel, his sister Clare is more this type.”
He aced the law school entrance exam at only 14, scoring 174. He currently holds the highest score in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Jimmy is also attempting to set the record for being the youngest certified public accountant in United States history and is about halfway through achieving that goal.
And his plans don’t end with graduating from law school. Jimmy is next considering a Master of Law degree and has expressed interest in teaching or becoming a Mississippi Attorney General.
“If the right doors open, for his home state of Mississippi someday,” his father said. “He talked about becoming an AG because he loves his home state and knows that he has a talent for law and academia. I think he secretly hopes for the challenge to represent Mississippi against other states that may not give Mississippi much thought or consideration given its relatively smaller population.”
He’s already eager to assist his fellow Mississippians by representing them as well as state agencies.
“Jimmy would be a good pick to battle for the state should cases with the federal government arise and he would take immense care in issuing legal opinions that benefit Mississippians,” Chilimigras said.
No matter the path Jimmy ultimately takes—a teacher, a financial advisor, a judge, or even as an attorney general—the Magnolia State will be eagerly watching for his next accomplishment.
All photos are courtesy of John and Erin Chilimigras.