Kim Kardashian West wears many different hats. She is a mother, a reality TV star, an entrepreneur and now she is taking on the title of lawyer. In Vogue’s April issue, Kardashian West announced that she was entering a four-year apprenticeship and would be taking the bar in 2022. Her inspiration for the career addition is because of the role she played in helping release Alice Marie Johnson last summer. Alice Marie Johnson was a 63-year-old woman who was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole on a first time, nonviolent drug offense. Kardashian West also wanted to help change the world that her children would grow up in.
While this new career choice is a wonderful and daunting task, it does raise some concerns. Kardashian West is not going to law school. She will be taking the First-Year Law Students’ Exam also known as the baby bar and interning at a law office in San Francisco. The requirement to become a lawyer in California without a law school degree is to register with the California Law Office or Judge’s Chamber program, fill out additional paperwork, pay all the fees that occur every six months, take the baby bar, the California Bar and become a “law reader” by taking part in an apprenticeship for 18 hours a week for four years.
Kardashian West skipping out on law school is a disservice to herself as well as any future clients she has. The client is being judged but so is the lawyer. The lawyer’s basic knowledge and skills are being put to the test. What and how much a lawyer knows can positively or negatively affect a client. Most colleges and universities are accredited which means that their curriculum is analyzed to ensure that all students are getting a quality education.
Apprenticeships are not accredited so there is no quality control. With just an apprenticeship, there is no way of regulating what is important to know before entering a courtroom, or a business meeting. This lack of knowledge can lead to simple mistakes. It is important to make mistakes, but basic mistakes can be caught and corrected early in a low-pressure environment by going to law school. An apprenticeship should be used as a way to apply and refine the techniques that are cultivated in law school.
The apprenticeship could be a valuable learning tool, as some people learn better by doing rather than just listening. There are studies that show that lectures and homework can only reinforce a limited amount. So by Kardashian West taking on this apprenticeship, she could gain hands-on experience with the intricacies of being a lawyer.
There is also the concern, that had, Kardashian West entered law school her celebrity status could give her an unfair advantage. The recent college admissions scandal has left a sour taste in the public’s mouth. It may be the best if Kardashian West goes an unorthodox route to get to where she wants to go.
School does not teach everything there is to know. Lectures do not answer every question and tests do not mean that a person knows the answer to everything. Law school, as well as the apprenticeship, should be done together in order for Kardashian West to get the full experience. Law school could fill in the gaps the apprenticeship lacks and vice versa. The visibility that Kardashian West has because of her celebrity status could be used to bring awareness to important cases as it did with Alice Johnson’s case. All in all, it can’t hurt to have another person fighting to change the system.