Kim Kardashian West is Vogue‘s May cover star and she dropped a surprise bombshell in her interview: She’s studying to become a lawyer, and she has been doing so in secret for the last year.
No, Kim is not in law school. But she is doing a four-year apprenticeship at a law firm in San Francisco, which in California, is a legal way for someone to become a lawyer and take the bar without attending law school. According to Vogue, Kim’s goal is to take the bar in 2022. “I had to think long and hard about this,” Kim said of her decision to make the career pivot.
California is one of only four states in the country that allows prospective lawyers to do apprenticeships in lieu of law school. But as the California Bar Association points out on its website, there are certain things Kim has to do during her four-year stint.
Kim and her supervising attorney need to be submitting semi-annual progress reports to the Association, she needs to take and pass the First-Year Law Student’s Exam (a test known for its rigorous difficulty), and she needs to be studying law at the firm during regular business hours for at least 18 hours each week for a minimum of 48 weeks to receive credit for one year of study, according to rule 4.29 of the state’s Bar admission rules.
Once she completes her four years there and takes the bar, she needs to pass that and get a positive moral character determination, and pass the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination. Basically, she needs to pass all the tests other lawyers do when they’re certified.
Why is Kim doing this? It was largely because of her work helping free Alice Marie Johnson. President Trump commuted her life sentence last June. It was seeing the “really good result,” Kim said and feeling out of her depth.
“The White House called me to advise to help change the system of clemency, 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, shit. I need to know more,” she told Vogue.
“I would say what I had to say, about the human side and why this is so unfair. But I had attorneys with me who could back that up with all the facts of the case. It’s never one person who gets things done; it’s always a collective of people, and I’ve always known my role, 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.” Well, here she goes.