Reality TV star, beauty mogul … law student. Kim Kardashian-West just revealed to Vogue she is preparing to take the bar exam and become a lawyer. Kardashian-West graces the cover of the magazine’s May issue and sat down for an interview, which was released Wednesday.
Last summer, Kardashian-West decided to start a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco, she told Vogue. Her goal is to take the bar exam in 2022. “I had to think long and hard about this,” she said. What ultimately inspired her was the success of her advocacy campaign to release Alice Marie Johnson from jail.
“The White House called me to advise to help change the system of clemency,” Kardashian-West said. “And I’m sitting in the Roosevelt Room with, like, a judge who had sentenced criminals and a lot of really powerful people and I just sat there, like, Oh, sh-t. I need to know more.”
Kardashian-West said she could explain the human side of Johnson’s story and why it was so unfair, but she needed attorneys there to back her up with facts. “It’s never one person who gets things done; it’s always a collective of people, and I’ve always known my role,” she told Vogue, “but 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.”
63-year-old Johnson, who spent 21 years in prison for her role in a cocaine distribution ring, went back home in Tennessee last June after President Trump commuted her life sentence. Johnson was championed by Kardashian-West, who not only met with the president to discuss this case, but also returned to the White House last September to talk prison reform. CNN host Van Jones, as well as Jared Kushner, were among those at the listening session.
Kardashian-West, a mom of three who is expecting a baby boy via surrogate with husband Kanye West, already has a lot on her plate. But, she’s figured out a way to study for the bar.
During the Vogue interview, two of Kardashian-West’s “mentor lawyers,” Jessica Jackson and Erin Haney, drop in for a visit. As a law apprentice, Kardashian-West needs to complete 18 hours of supervised study each week. So she doesn’t have to travel to San Francisco every day, the two lawyers scheduled a four-hour block to study with Kardashian-West at a Los Angeles law firm.
Kardashian-West, 38, does not have an undergraduate degree, but the state of California does not require one to take the bar. Instead, a student can do an apprenticeship with a lawyer or judge.
Kardashian-West’s criminal justice crusade may have inspired her to embark on this law degree, but her father, famed O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Kardashian might have also had some influence. The star grew up watching court TV shows, her sisters remember. She was also constantly around her dad’s attorney friends, Vogue reports.
On several episodes of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and its spinoffs, Kardashian-West has expressed interest in a career in criminal justice. In one episode, she even went on a ride-along with a Miami police officer.
“My dad had a library, and when you pushed on this wall there was this whole hidden closet room, with all of his O.J. evidence books. On weekends I would always snoop and look through. I was really nosy about the forensics,” Kardashian-West told Vogue.