Kim Kardashian West revealed in an interview published Wednesday that she’s studying 18 hours a week to prepare to take the bar exam and could become a lawyer as early as 2022.
The reality star discussed her plans in an interview with Vogue, which is featuring her on its May cover. Kardashian West still spends her time filming for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, working on her beauty business, and taking care of her family — but since last summer, she’s also been working as an apprentice with a San Francisco–based law firm.
“The reading is what really gets me. It’s so time-consuming,” Kardashian West told Vogue. “The concepts I grasp in two seconds.”
Kardashian West added she’s always been interested in criminal law — her father Robert Kardashian famously was on the team of lawyers representing O.J. Simpson — but she was inspired while she working to free Alice Marie Johnson from prison last year. Kardashian West met with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss Johnson’s case, and Johnson’s life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime was successfully commuted.
“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,” Kardashian told Vogue. “I need to know more.”
In that meeting, she told Vogue she was able to explain to Trump why Johnson’s sentence was unfair. But she said she wanted the legal knowledge to be able to do more to change the criminal justice system and fight for people like Johnson.
Kardashian West first learned about Johnson’s case from a Twitter video, and she then got involved with #cut50, an advocacy group working to reduce the number of inmates in prison. One of its founders, CNN commentator Van Jones, praised Kardashian West for convincing Trump to give Johnson clemency.
“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,” Jones told Vogue.
Kardashian West doesn’t have an undergraduate or law degree, but in California a person may become a lawyer if they pass the bar exam after a four-year apprenticeship with a lawyer or judge. And the California bar exam is notoriously difficult: Law.com noted only 41% of people who took the test in July passed, and most of them attended law school. A small number of people attempted the bar after their four years of qualified studying, and less than 3% passed.
But Kardashian West has already shown a knack for legal work, one of the lawyers helping her study told Vogue. After the meeting at the White House, Kardashian West kept working with #cut50, and cofounder Jessica Jackson told Vogue that she was valuable on the team.
“She was spending so much time on this,” Jackson told Vogue, “and she would call me at weird hours with questions, and finally I was like, ‘Gosh, you’re helping us with commutations; you’re legitimately helpful on motions and stuff; why don’t you just become a lawyer?’”