Kim Kardashian West Aims To Become A Lawyer Without A Law Degree—How Does That Work?

California is one of four U.S. states where apprenticing with attorneys can qualify a candidate to take the bar exam; Kardashian West says she's working it.

June 24, 2019
Kim Kardashian West [CNN/screenshot]

Photo by: Kim Kardashian West [CNN/screenshot]

Kim Kardashian West [CNN/screenshot]

By: Mike McPadden

LOS ANGELES, CA — In the May 2019 issue of Vogue, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West announced that she was studying to become a lawyer, but that she had no plans to actually attend law school.

Specifically, according to the interview, Kardashian West said that her work on prison reform that led to a White House meeting with President Donald Trump has inspired her to study the law in preparation for taking the California State Bar exam in 2022.

Still, Kardashian West doesn’t even have a college degree, let alone one from a law school. As a result, her announcement prompted many to ask, “Is that possible?” It turns out it is.

California is one of four U.S. states that allow a practice called “reading the law” — which means apprenticing with a practicing attorney or judge — to qualify citizens for the bar exam (the other states are Vermont, Virginia, and Washington).

To that end, Kardashian West is apprenticing with attorneys Jessica Jackson and Erin Haney as a part of #cut50, a bipartisan criminal reform initiative undertaken by Jackson and CNN commentator Van Jones.

On social media, Kardashian West wrote, “Last year, I registered with the California State Bar to study law. For the next 4 years, a minimum of 18 hours a week is required; I will take written and multiple choice tests monthly. As my first year is almost coming to an end I am preparing for the baby bar, a mini version of the bar, which is required when studying law this way.”

The law may well also run in Kardashian’s blood, as her father was noted attorney Robert Kardashian, who famously worked on O.J. Simpson’s defense team in the 1990s.

Some observers have pointed out that no less a legal luminary than Abraham Lincoln obtained his license through an apprenticeship. In 1855, the future president wrote, “If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself the thing is more than half done already. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”

Addressing naysayers on her social-media platforms, Kardashian West wrote, “One person actually said I should 'stay in my lane.' 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.”

Read more: Vogue, CNN, CNBC, Today, Vox

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