Kim Kardashian West told Vogue, for the magazine’s May cover story, that she’s studying to become a lawyer. Some people are infuriated and/or confused by that.
But why shouldn’t she become an attorney? As evidenced by the 2001 classic “Legally Blonde,” and lots of real-life female lawyers (did you see what Amal Clooney wore to last year’s Met Gala? Or any photo of Laura Wasser?) it’s possible for someone to care about both fashion and criminal justice.
She posted a selfie with Hillary Clinton on Instagram in summer of 2015, with Kanye West grimacing in the background. The following spring, Kardashian West seemed to formally endorse Clinton in a post on her personal website, writing: “No matter what candidate you support for the next presidential election, you have to admit that it’s fucking AWESOME that a woman is up for the job!!!”
The West family also joined the March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C. last spring, advocating for stricter gun laws.
“Having my daughter march alongside her grandfather and parents was a day I hope she remembers forever,” Kardashian West captioned an Instagram photo of Kanye and their daughter North, age 4 at the time. “I know that the younger generation will vote to change these gun laws that so desperately need to be changed … I hope when it comes time to vote we all step up and vote to protect our children.”
Last year, Kardashian West worked with her attorney to lobby Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to convince the president to grant Alice Marie Johnson clemency. The 63-year-old grandmother had been sentenced to life in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. After reading about Johnson’s case online, Kardashian West was determined to help.
“I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition,” she tweeted afterward.
Even if Kardashian West were to help only one or two other people with her future license to practice law, wouldn’t that be worth it? A random civilian without 100 million Instagram followers and seven perfumes named for themselves likely wouldn’t have been able to appeal directly to the president to help Johnson. Kardashian West can, and probably will, use her fame for good.
Her late father, Robert Kardashian, was also a prominent Los Angeles attorney. He defended his longtime friend O.J. Simpson, and whether or not you believe Simpson was guilty, Kardashian got him acquitted of murdering wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ronald Goldman, in 1994.
Kardashian was also a businessman, and Kardashian West has often spoken about his influence on her.
“I feel lazy when I’m not working,” she has said. “I learned all my business sense from my dad. He always believed in me, and I think the last thing he said to me before he passed away was, ‘I know you’re gonna be OK. I’m not worried about you.’”
Kardashian West seems to have the work ethic to study 18 hours a week with two mentor lawyers, take a “baby bar” exam soon and continue studying for three more years if she passes, which is one way to obtain a law degree in California (and three other states).
“She’s incredible: just the kindest, smartest — I have been so impressed by everything she’s doing and how committed she is,” Erin Haney, one of Kardashian West’s mentors, told Vogue.
Most Kardashian West critics take issue with the fact that she’s famous for being famous, or that she does nothing but take mirror selfies and try to tone down Kanye’s often intense Twitter rhetoric. But shouldn’t those critics be happy that she’s attempting to become a traditionally productive member of society now?
And for critics of Kim K’s new career direction, wouldn’t you rather she pursue justice for people as a properly licensed attorney for people who may not have help otherwise?
She didn’t just buy a stack of law textbooks and start calling herself an attorney; Kardashian West is training the same way as anyone who wants to become a lawyer but can’t attend law school for whatever reason. Again, she can use her popularity and influence for good, and probably get some of her young fans invested in politics and/or criminal justice. So what if she’s wearing her own makeup line while she’s doing it?