Kim Kardashian Is Studying for the Bar Exam: Can She Become a Lawyer Without a College Degree?
Kim Kardashian West wants to be a lawyer — but can the reality star achieve her goal even though she doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree?
In an interview with Vogue published on Wednesday, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 38, revealed that she’s studying to become a lawyer and decided last summer to begin a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco, with the goal of taking the bar in 2022.
Kardashian West did go to undergrad, briefly attending Pierce College in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But she never graduated, meaning she does not hold a college degree.
The Calabasas-based star is in luck, though: California, as well as three other U.S. states, offers another way to pass the bar by “reading the law” — interning or apprenticing with a practicing lawyer or judge.
“Reading the law” is how every aspiring lawyer in the U.S. entered the profession before law schools existed — even Abraham Lincoln, as the magazine notes. Today, it’s more rare: A 2014 New York Times story reported that only 60 out of the 83,986 people who had passed the bar in the previous year used this method.
According to Vogue, this summer Kardashian West will take a “baby bar” administered by the state. If she passes, she’ll be able to continue on with three more years of study.
“First year of law school, you have to cover three subjects: criminal law, torts, and contracts,” she told the magazine. “To me, torts is the most confusing, contracts the most boring, and crim law I can do in my sleep. Took my first test, I got a 100. Super easy for me.”
“The reading is what really gets me,” she admitted. “It’s so time-consuming. The concepts I grasp in two seconds.”
Kardashian West has been working with author and CNN commentator Van Jones and attorney Jessica Jackson, cofounders of #cut50 — a national bipartisan advocacy group on criminal-justice reform — for months, visiting prisons, petitioning governors, and attending meetings at the White House.
Last year, she successfully petitioned President Donald Trump to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender. After Johnson was released, a major bipartisan piece of criminal justice–reform legislation, the FIRST STEP Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law by Trump in December.
“I had to think long and hard about this,” she told Vogue about her decision to begin studying law, explaining that she eventually decided to embark on the journey after “seeing a really good result” with Johnson.
“I never in a million years thought we would get to the point of getting laws passed,” she said. “That was really a turning point for me.”
Still, Kardashian West admitted she felt out of her depth, hence her desire to educate herself.
“The White House called me to advise to help change the system of clemency,” she 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 s—.’ I need to know more.”
“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,” she continued. “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.”
The mother of three also revealed that she’s long had an interest in the subject; Her father, the late Robert Kardashian, was a businessman and attorney who became a household name when he helped defend friend O.J. Simpson during his infamous 1994 murder trial.
“On the weekends they used our home as an office, with Johnnie Cochran and Bob Shapiro,” Kardashian recalled. “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.”
The Vogue story isn’t the first time Kardashian West’s interest in law has come to light: Last September, reports surfaced that she was attending law school, though a source denied that was the case to PEOPLE.