Kim Kardashian West recently told the world that she is studying to become a lawyer.
Needless to say, the internet was absolutely shocked by the news.
The reality star revealed in an interview with Vogue that she has been secretly studying law for the past year and she plans to take the bar in 2022.
Like wildfire, people on social media were quick to point out that, wait, did she even finish college?
As it turns out, in some states, including California, you don’t need a law degree to take the bar exam.
All you need to do is enter an apprenticeship, called “Law Office Study Program.” The apprenticeship includes, “sitting in a particular attorney’s office for 18 hours per week for a period of four continuous years.”
As for her reasons, Kardashian West expressed a turning point in her successful petition to commute Alice Marie Johnson’s life sentence last year.
“I never in a million years thought we would get to the point of getting laws passed. That was really a turning point for me.
“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.”
How did the world react, exactly?
A lot of people thought it was absurd. On Twitter, people were making jokes left and right:
kim k studying to be a lawyer is the best live action remake of legally blonde i’ve ever heard of
— gill (@frostgilllian) April 10, 2019
Some quickly called out Kardashian’s privilege:
Apparently, Kim Kardashian doesn't need a college degree or law school to take the bar exam in California. If you're privileged and complete an apprenticeship with a lawyer or a law firm, you can do whatever you want. Ain't that a blimp.
— FERRARI SHEPPARD (@stopbeingfamous) April 11, 2019
There are others, however, that defended her decision:
Kim Kardashian wants to become a lawyer to reform our criminal justice system.
How many of the people making fun of her have helped free people from unjust prison sentences?
She’s a millionaire.
Instead of sitting back, she’s trying to help people. Give her some credit. https://t.co/nbFIi6rnod
— Bhavisha Patel (@BhavishaPatel) April 11, 2019
A lot of these jokes about Kim Kardashian becoming a lawyer are just revealing that you don't think a woman with a public sexual identity can be smart or care about justice.
Do we need a 'Legally Blonde' remake already?
— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) April 11, 2019
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Kim Kardashian’s defense
The Keeping Up With The Kardashian star responded to the criticism on an Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
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. I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. 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. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it. It’s true I did not finish college. You need 60 college credits (I had 75) to take part in “reading the law”, which is an in office law school being apprenticed by lawyers. For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it’s not. My weekends are spent away from my kids while I read and study. I work all day, put my kids to bed and spend my nights studying. There are times I feel overwhelmed and when I feel like I can’t do it but I get the pep talks I need from the people around me supporting me. I changed my number last year and disconnected from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine – It’s never too late to follow your dreams. I want to thank Van Jones for believing in me and introducing me to Jessica Jackson. Jessica along with Erin Haney have taken on the role of my mentors and I am forever grateful to them both putting in so much time with me, believing in me and supporting me through this journey. This week I have a big torts essay due on negligence. Wish me luck ✨⚖️
“I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. 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.
“For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it’s not. There are times I feel overwhelmed and when I feel like I can’t do it but I get the pep talks I need from the people around me supporting me. I changed my number last year and disconnected from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine—it’s never too late to follow your dreams.”
Suffice it to say, people are at odds.
Is Kim Kardashian a model for female empowerment? Is she someone who uses her platform to do the world some good?
No one can deny her various charitable contributions. Every year, she apparently donates 10% of her earnings to charity. She also continually uses her social media influence to raise awareness of social and political issues, including the Armenian Genocide, transgender issues, and body positivity.
But more than that, doesn’t she raise important questions?
Are women not allowed to try new things? More importantly, shouldn’t women be allowed to realize their dreams, despite their background or the predetermined role society has given them?
Why criticize a woman who wants to educate herself?
At the end of the day, you could argue that she’s just a woman who wants to pursue something meaningful in her life. Aren’t we all doing the same?
On the other hand, Kim Kardashian’s lifestyle represents most of the toxicity in our modern society.
In fact, her whole family continually shows unattainable societal expectations.
Lauren Greenfield, who explores this toxicity in her documentary, Generation Wealth, says:
“In a way, I never really thought about the title Keeping Up with the Kardashians. but it’s so brilliant, because that’s exactly what people want to do—compare themselves to not only celebrities, but fictional representations of people. It’s not only airbrushed people edited on television, but it’s your friends on social media—who might be out at a better party than you are.”
Author Susan Harrow also claims Kim’s “style of self-esteem is bad for girls” saying:
“When young girls look at Kim Kardashian’s naked photos I have to wonder if they are gaining less self-esteem instead of more.
“Do they feel they don’t measure up because they aren’t wearing the latest lip gloss, glammy clothes, or sporting that sleek ponytail, all while on vacation on some super exclusive island, a gorgeous guy slathering said naked body with celebrity sunscreen — all the while making money, for, well, doing nothing.”
What about this law degree? Having 24/7 assistants, millions of dollars and connections to make the load easier is not something everybody has access to. And no one can say it doesn’t help things, either.
Either way, it all boils down to this: Kim Kardashian West is just like all of us – someone that changes, evolves, makes mistakes, and navigates life’s challenges in much the same ways.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.