One day, the preview clip for Keeping Up With the Kardashians just might tease that, on the next episode, middle sister Kim Kardashian is preparing to argue a case in court.
Kardashian is studying to be a lawyer following her experience lobbying for the release of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman she read about on Twitter, who was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after being convicted of the non-violent offenses of drug trafficking and money laundering. Kardashian famously met with President Trump on Johnson’s behalf in May 2018, after Johnson had served more than two decades behind bars. Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence a week after meeting with the beauty mogul, who worked alongside other Johnson advocates, including CNN’s Van Jones and the team at #cut50, a national initiative to reduce the prison population safely.
A new profile of Kardashian in Vogue reveals that last summer, months before her meeting with Trump, she embarked on a four-year apprenticeship with a San Francisco law firm. She plans to take the bar exam in 2022. Not only that, she’s continued to work on prison reform by visiting prisons, the White House and state officials, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
While Kardashian didn’t finish college — she attended Pierce College in L.A. — California and three other states allow people to practice law after completing an apprenticeship with a judge or practicing lawyer and passing the bar.
“The White House called me to advise to help change the system of clemency,” Kardashian told the magazine, “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. 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.”
She ignored people who told her to stay out of it, and there were many.
“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?’ Weigh that out. People talk s*** about me all day long. It will just be another story about me versus someone getting their life back.”
Kardashian certainly won over Jones, who spoke highly of her performance during the Johnson meeting with Trump.
“Kim understood that [Trump] needs to be seen as taking on the system, and she helped him to see that there are people who the system was against and that his job was to go and help them,” Jones said. “And it was remarkable. So for people who have fallen for this media caricature of the party girl from ten years ago who hangs out with Paris Hilton? 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.”
After Congress passed a landmark prison reform law benefiting people like Johnson in December, Kardashian was hooked. It’s a subject that she’s been interested in since her late father, Robert Kardashian, was part of O.J. Simpson’s defense team in his infamous 1995 trial. Kardashian said she had often snooped through her dad’s files, which he kept at home.
Since July, she’s pored over law books for 18 hours of supervised study each week. Her mentors meet her near her home to keep her from having to travel to San Francisco.
“First year of law school you have to cover three subjects: criminal law, torts, and contracts,” Kardashian said. “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. It’s so time-consuming. The concepts I grasp in two seconds.”
This summer, Kardashian will face her first big test, which she must pass to continue with the three additional years of study she needs to do before sitting down for the bar exam.
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