Kim Kardashian's Achievements in Law: Everything the Star Has Accomplished So Far
Helping Release Alice Johnson from a Life Sentence
After discovering Johnson's story on Twitter in October 2017, Kardashian decided to advocate on the 64-year-old great-grandmother’s behalf and ask President Trump to grant her clemency.
The star spoke with White House senior advisor Jared Kushner for months about a possible pardon for Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense, and eventually met with President Donald Trump at the White House to plead her case. Then on June 6, 2018, one week after Kardashian's visit, the White House made a statement to announce that President Trump had commuted Johnson’s life sentence.
"Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades," the statement read.
"While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance," the statement concluded.
Johnson’s case marked the first big legal win for Kardashian, who could not have been more thrilled about the amazing news. She also had Johnson model her SKIMS Shapewear, after releasing the new business venture in August 2019.
Seeking Out New Cases
Since her experience with Johnson, Kardashian has been determined to "fight for people who deserve a second chance."
During a May 2019 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the star explained her process of selecting who she wants to support next to mom Kris Jenner. She first reads over the many letters she receives from inmates asking for her help to get clemency and then, "If I see something that I feel like has a real shot and just like moves me, then I’ll send it to my attorneys who look over everything just to make sure it’s legitimate."
“I told my dad years ago that I was really into criminal justice and he was like ‘This will stress you out so much, you do not really want to take this on,’ ” she recalled during the episode. “I think now having gotten so deep in helping Alice [Marie Johnson], I’m really motivated to get to know the law more and fight for people who deserve a second chance like her.”
Clapping Back at Haters
In a lengthy April 2019 tweet, Kardashian decided to address everyone who was skeptical of her commitment to law or told her she should "stay in her lane." The note began by saying she "registered with the California State Bar" and for the next four years, "a minimum of 18 hours a week is required," in addition to taking written and multiple choice tests monthly, "which is required when studying law this way."
Kardashian did not finish college, so she has taken an non-traditional route to earn her status as a laywer. She also revealed in an interview with Vogue that she decided to begin a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco, with the goal of taking the bar in 2022.
"I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit of your dreams, and the accomplishment of new goals," she wrote on Twitter.
"I changed my number last year and disconnected from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine," she added. "It's never too late to follow your dreams."
Gaining Support from CNN's Van Jones
The host of The Redemption Project with Van Jones told Extra that Kardashian has impressed him with her passion to become a lawyer since they first met at the White House in late 2018, when they were working together on criminal justice reform.
“She takes these cases seriously. It’s embarrassing to go into a meeting with Kim Kardashian, you’re the attorney and she’s not and she knows more than you by far, and that happens all the time,” said Jones, who graduated Yale Law School and now is a non-practicing attorney.
“[Kim] is so prepared, she is so passionate, she reads the letters that she gets, and is always trying to figure out how to be helpful,” Jones shared. “People forget she is the daughter of a very accomplished lawyer. She is also the mother of [then] three African-American kids, so that puts that criminal justice conversation in a different place.”
The CNN star added, “She is just extraordinary, and people are just going to have to reassess — she is not that kid that used to party with Paris Hilton.”
Helping Free Another Low-Level Drug Offender from Prison
In May 2019, Kardashian tweeted the good news that she was able to help negotiate the release of another low-level drug offender from prison after he spent more than two decades behind bars.
“We did it again! Had the best call w/this lovely family & my attorney @msbkb who just won release for their loved one Jeffrey in Miami,” she wrote. “He served 22 years of life sentence for low level drug case. He served too much time but it gives me so much joy to fund this life saving work.”
Along with the message, Kardashian shared a photo of Jeffrey with his family.
Meeting with Then-Imprisoned Slam Star Momolu Stewart
During her July 2019 visit to the District of Columbia Correctional Treatment Facility, Kardashian met with Stewart, who appeared in the 1998 movie Slam. During filming, Stewart, then 17, was an actual inmate awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder, and had just been placed in his cell. He was eventually convicted of murder, and has served 22 years in prison.
After the reality star's visit, Stewart shared a photo of the two of them with the caption, “Making power moves from the inside with my sister @kimkardashian. My next move is even bigger, and I’m thinking five steps ahead.”
The visit prompted Kardashian to write a letter to the judge on his case to request his release, which worked — Stewart's sentence was reduced to time served and five years of probation, according to Oxygen.
Partnering with Lyft to Help Soon-to-Be Released Inmates Get to Job Interviews
According to TMZ, more than 5,000 soon-to-be freed prisoners will receive rides from Lyft to job interviews, a cause Kardashian spoke about during her June 2019 visit to the White House.
A source also told the outlet that the mom of four, who is in partnership with #cut50, a prison reform initiative, has “worked tirelessly on both federal and local levels to ensure inmates will be provided housing and employment opportunities.”
“While I have been able to offer support to some of the individuals I have met, the obstacles to success are an everyday struggle for thousands and more needs to be done,” she said after making her partnership announcement during her White House visit. “Today, I’m honored to be a part of the announcement that the administration and the private sector are stepping up to create opportunities for these men and women to succeed once home.”
Asking Trump to Help Free A$AP Rocky During Sweden Arrest
Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, used their connections to the White House to appeal to President Donald Trump about rapper A$AP Rocky‘s case amid the star's arrest and legal investigation in Sweden, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The source told PEOPLE that Kardashian reached out to the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner. West was also involved, but Kardashian was the one to make the call to the administration.
“She really brought it to the forefront,” the source said. Kardashian had developed a relationship with Kushner due to her previous work with the White House on criminal justice reform.
According to the source, Kushner then brought the story to the president, who agreed that “something just needed to be checked to make sure things were appropriate.” (A White House spokesman did not respond to a message about the case.)
On July 19, 2019, Trump tweeted that he was going to step in to help.
“Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration,” he wrote. “I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved.”
By August 2019, Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, had pled not guilty in court after he was arrested in Stockholm on July 2, 2019, for suspected assault, along with three others who were involved in the incident, and was released pending the judge’s ruling. Not long after that, the rapper attended West's August 2019 Sunday Service to thank the couple for getting involved in his legal case.
“He wanted to thank Kanye and Kim in person,” a Keeping Up with the Kardashians source told PEOPLE.
“His jail stay in Sweden was such a nightmare. He is very grateful to everyone that got involved and tried to get him released,” the source added.
Tweeting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Behalf of Rodney Reed
After discovering Reed's case on Twitter, Kardashian urged Texas Gov. Abbott to "do the right thing," tweeting at him in regards to exonerating Reed after new substantial evidence proved that the death-row inmate was likely innocent in the 1996 Stacy Stites murder case. In addition to Kardashian, other stars, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Meek Mill and LL Cool J, spoke out on Reed's behalf to call for a stay of Reed's execution, which was scheduled for Nov. 20, 2019.
Just five days before, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled to block Reed’s execution, according to the New York Times. His execution is now suspended indefinitely. Kardashian was with Reed when he got the news.
Three days later, on Nov. 18, 2019, Kardashian sat with Jenna Bush Hager on Today to discuss the moments she shared with Reed before his life-changing news hit.
“We did talk a lot about his case and how he just would love justice for him, for his family, for the victim’s family,” Kardashian said. “It’s really important to him that the scientific evidence be brought and considered heavily."
“Then we talked about family, and his kids and his family and grandkids and mother and really important, special things in his life,” she added.
Kardashian told Hager she was “strategic” about getting involved with Reed's case, saying she made sure she felt confident that the case should be looked at again. When asked what Reed said after the news broke of his indefinite suspension, Kardashian said, "It was extremely emotional, and he said, 'Praise Jesus.' "
Releasing a True Crime Documentary on the Nation's 'Mass Incarceration Problem'
The star has teamed up with Oxygen to executive produce a new documentary about the United States’ criminal reform system. The upcoming two-hour film, Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, will focus on her advocacy efforts as she visits prisons and consults with lawyers to develop strategies to free Dawn Jackson, Alexis Martin, Momolu Stewart and David Sheppard — all of whom she and legal experts believe have been unfairly sentenced. It will also follow Kardashian as she uncovers a deeper understanding of mandatory sentencing, the damaging problems of mass incarceration and the importance of educational programs and rehabilitation efforts for a successful re-entry into society.
“I partnered with Oxygen to do the Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project documentary because there are millions of people impacted by this broken justice system, and I wanted to put faces to these numbers and statistics,” Kardashian said in a statement.
“There are a lot of people who deserve a second chance, but many do not have the resources to make it happen," she continued. "I want to help elevate these cases to a national level to effect change, and this documentary is an honest depiction of me learning about the system and helping bring tangible results to justice reform.”
Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project will premiere Apr. 5 on Oxygen.
Supporting Alice Johnson's Fight to Help Release 3 Women She was Formerly Incarcerated with
On March 4, 2020, Kardashian announced via Twitter that President Trump had granted clemency to three women who were selected by Johnson.
“President Trump commuted the sentences of three really deserving women,” she tweeted. “I didn’t hear much about it in the news so I wanted to share with you their stores [sic]! I have the pleasure of spending the day with these women today along with @AliceMarieFree who helped to pick these women.”
Johnson also tweeted her excitement, sharing why she chose these women and declaring her oath to help others.
"Today seemed so surreal being with these three women who I advocated for!!! I was incarcerated with all them," she wrote. "I made a promise when I was granted clemency by @realDonaldTrump that I would never forget the ones who were left behind. #FIGHTINGFOROTHERS"
Kardashian then tweeted photos and short descriptions of each of the women to highlight their cases, and concluded her string of tweets with another announcement.
"Today Alice, Crystal, Judith, Tynice and I, along with the @cut_50 team will be at the White House bringing light to these women and discuss more change that our justice system desperately needs!" she wrote, before tweeting, "White House here we come!!!" with a photo of herself and all of the women.
"Crystal Munoz was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to posses & distribute marijuana," Kardashian tweeted. "She left behind a five month old baby & was pregnant. Crystal was shackled by prison guards during the birth of her second daughter. Her case was highlighted in the First Step Act."
She added: "Crystal case was highlighted in the First Step Act which banned the degrading and inhumane treatment of shackling female prisoners during childbirth."
"Judith Negron was sentenced to 35 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud," Kardashian tweeted. "After trial she received the longest sentence ever given to a female for a white collar crime. A mother, she left behind two young sons. This was Judith’s first ever offense."
She added: "Wardens and staff alike spoke glowingly of the incredible contributions Judith made to the prison while incarcerated."
"Tynice Hall was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a first time non violent drug conspiracy," Kardashian tweeted. "Her boyfriend at the time used her house for his illegal drug activities. She was only 22 years old when she went to prison and left behind a 3 year old son."
She added: "Tynice rehabilitated herself and prepared for a future outside of prison by completing numerous classes and becoming certified in various trades."
In separate tweet, the mom of four praised Alice Johnson again for her advocacy work, writing, "How amazing is @AliceMarieFree for being so involved and now helping to free other women!!!!"