Kim Kardashian West on the Path to Becoming a Lawyer


Laura Lee, Staff Writer

Kim Kardashian West has become a household name in the past decade, and whether you love or hate her, her popularity in today’s media is undeniable. When you think of her, the first thing that comes to mind might be the reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians, her Instagram page (with over 134 million followers), or maybe her husband Kanye West. However, despite the fame her late father, Robert Kardashian, garnered from being a lawyer, you would probably never envision her pursuing a career in law.

Kardashian West announced in a recent Vogue interview that she is doing just that. Last summer, she started a four-year apprenticeship with #cut50, an advocacy group committed to reforming the criminal justice system, and she plans to take the bar in 2022. Through her apprenticeship, she can actually bypass the usual three years of law school, as California is one of four states that allows people to take the bar without a college or law degree. She does, however, have to pass the California “baby bar” this summer in order to continue her studies.

Her inspiration for pursuing law came from her work on getting Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother sentenced to life for a nonviolent drug offense, released from prison. She told Vogue: “I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society. I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more.”  

She described her experiences in her Vogue interview, saying “the first year of law school you have to cover three subjects: criminal law, torts, and contracts. To me, torts is the most confusing, contracts the most boring, and crim law I can do in my sleep. Took my first test, I got a 100. Super easy for me. The reading is what really gets me. It’s so time-consuming. The concepts I grasp in two seconds.”

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Kardashian West has gotten a mixed response from the public, receiving both praise and criticism. She responded to critics with a post on Instagram, saying, “I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit of your dreams, and the accomplishment of new goals. You can create your own lanes, just as I am. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it. It’s true I did not finish college. You need 60 college credits (I had 75) to take part in “reading the law,” which is an in-office law school being apprenticed by lawyers.”

Even Van Jones, a CNN political commentator and former adviser to President Barack Obama, defended Kardashian West on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “I think like a lot of people, I had a misimpression. I still had her kinda like frozen in time back in the Paris Hilton days,” Jones said. “She cares a lot about criminal justice, she’s spent a lot of time going to visit women in prison. I think people thought it was some kind of publicity stunt a year ago. She’s the only celebrity I know- usually, I’m calling celebrities, asking them to help me on cases. She calls me, asking me to help her on cases.”

Tenafly High School students also seem to have a plethora of opinions on Kardashian West’s new career. “I think it’s great,” said Danielle Sung (’20). “It’s cool that she’s pursuing something different, where she can use her fame and influence to make a positive influence. I really do feel like she could accomplish something really good with us, and I feel like people will always criticize her, regardless of what she actually does.”

Conversely, Matthew Yang (’20) said, “I do appreciate that she’s trying to do something bigger and use her resources to accomplish her goals, but I definitely feel like she just has an easier route than all the other lawyers who spend seven years in school trying to get their degree.”

Regardless of the varying opinions, it will be interesting to see how Kardashian West will continue on this path. With her influence and resources, she definitely has the ability to enact change. She will officially become a licensed lawyer in 2020 if she passes the bar exam, so only time will tell how her career will progress.