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In a lengthy new interview for Vogue, Kardashian West reveals she's reading tort law books as she is enrolled in a four-year apprenticeship with plans to take the bar exam in 2022.
The reality star-turned-icon is working with Van Jones, attorney Jessica Jackson and others on criminal justice reform beyond the Johnson case, and it's that work that prompted her to pursue the study of law.
"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 told Vogue about her motivations, adding that her experience in the White House with people experienced in law helped her realize she needed to know more.
Her apprenticeship is with a law firm in San Francisco; California is one of four states that allows someone to go a different route to getting their legal degree. "Most people go to law school before becoming an attorney, but it isn’t the only way to get a legal education. Applicants can also study in a law office or with a judge," the State Bar of California's website explains.
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@KimKardashian is used to being underestimated. If the media mogul/beauty entrepreneur/soon-to-be mother of four's next act—studying law—seems unlikely, perhaps it shouldn't. "This is the daughter of an accomplished attorney and the mother of three black kids who is using her full power to make a difference on a tough issue and is shockingly good at it," says @CNN commentator and activist @vanjones68. Jones brings up the Elle Woods character from @legallyblondemovies as perhaps the only archetype we have in the culture through which to understand such an unlikely turn of events. "But she's so much deeper than that,” he says, "because the gravity of the issues she's taking on is so tragic and all-pervasive. I think she's going to be a singular person in American life.” In many demonstrable ways—for better or worse—@KimKardashian already is. But if she were to pass the bar, it would be the most surprising rebranding since @Barbie got woke, a case to be studied at @harvardhbs for years to come. (Indeed, she has been invited to speak at Harvard later this year "on branding and media.”) "I love to be put in a situation where I can have a conversation with someone who might not be inclined to think much of me, because I can guarantee they will have a different opinion and understand what's important to me after they've met me,” @KimKardashian says. Tap the link in our bio to read the full May cover story. Photographed by @mikaeljansson, styled by @tonnegood, written by @jonathanvanmeter, Vogue, May 2019.
Johnson started a mandatory life sentence plus 25 years in 1996 after being convicted in a drug trafficking case -- her first offense. She said she never sold drugs or made drug deals, but allowed other people involved in the trafficking ring to use her telephone.
"Here's a grandmother who took part in her first-time nonviolent offense and received the same sentence as Charles Manson. I just thought, This is so wrong and so bizarre, and how could that be?" Kardashian tells the magazine. "I made a decision to go to the White House when everyone was telling me, ‘Don't go, your career will be over; you can't step foot in there.' And I was like, ‘It's my reputation over someone's life?'"
Kardashian was also part of the team that helped get the First Step Act passed by Congress and signed by Trump late last year. First Step stops the use of restraints on pregnant women and helps get early release for inmates who are terminally ill, among other reforms.
"So for people who have fallen for this media caricature of the party girl from 10 years ago who hangs out with Paris Hilton?" Jones told Vogue. "This is the daughter of an accomplished attorney and the mother of three black kids who is using her full power to make a difference on a tough issue and is shockingly good at it."
And Kardashian's apparently already off to a good start.
"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," she said. "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."
She'll be taking the California "baby bar" this summer, Vogue reports, and should she pass, she can continue on her path to becoming bar certified in 2022.