If there’s one thing to be learned from “Legally Blonde,” it’s that a person’s intelligence can’t be judged by their physical appearance. In the film, Elle Woods overcomes the stigma surrounding femininity and proves that a love for beauty, fashion and social events can coexist with academic excellence. With her aggressively pink attire and signature blonde hair, she wins an important case and becomes a successful Harvard Law student.
Now, it’s Kim Kardashian West’s turn to dispel stereotypes, and she’s doing it Elle Woods style. In the May 2019 issue of Vogue, she revealed that she’s studying to become a lawyer. Her father, the notorious Robert Kardashian from the O.J. Simpson trial, introduced her to law early in life and served as an inspiration for this endeavor.
Although Kardashian West didn’t graduate from college and has no plans to attend law school, California legislature permits her to sit through the bar exam if she completes an apprenticeship with a practicing lawyer or judge. She is hoping to take the “baby bar” sometime this summer. This seven-hour exam is a California-specific requirement for students like KKW who are attending laws schools that are not accredited by the American Bar Association or for law apprentices. If she passes, she will be permitted to continue formally studying law.
When news of her aspirations first broke, there were very mixed reactions from the public. Kardashian West tends to be a polarizing figure, so it comes as no surprise that some people applauded her latest goal while other scoffed at it. The internet had a field day, and all sorts of memes and posts about the situation were shared. The negative ones criticized her money, fame, intelligence and public sexual identity, while the positive ones defended her choice and praised her motivation.
I want to first dispel the notion that the Kardashians are unintelligent. This point has been made numerous times in the past, but I think it’s worth reiterating that a family of idiots would never have been able to build a billion-dollar empire. Sure, they started with a leg up in the game as a result of Robert Kardashian and Bruce Jenner’s influences, but these names alone weren’t enough to create the internationally recognized icons that we know today. Similar figures like Paris Hilton haven’t reached the same level of fame and success, providing further evidence that there’s a carefully calculated business plan for each Kardashian/Jenner sister.
On the flip side of that, Kardashian West would be far from the first lawyer to come from a privileged background. The field is notorious for attracting wealthy white males who have been primed for esteemed careers their whole lives. And, while it’s important to recognize the inequalities in our society, individual people cannot be faulted for being born into privilege and then using those resources to help them succeed.
Furthermore, it’s not like this decision is coming out of nowhere. KKW has already demonstrated her interest in law by working to free Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who was convicted of a drug charge and sentenced to life in prison. She’s also said to be helping Max B. be released.
As a response to the backlash, KKW posted a photo of her studying with the following caption:
“… 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 … 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 …”
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 think her response was commendable, and I don’t understand what people are trying to achieve by spreading hate. It’s one thing to call someone out for objectively harmful and problematic behaviors or opinions, but it’s another thing to dislike them for trivial reasons and then proceed to bully them through social media or other channels. The latter only serves to promote a more cynical society, and frankly, there’s too much negativity already going on in the world for that.
The hate especially bothers me when it comes from other women. Personally, I’m not a huge Kardashian fan, but I think it’s great that KKW is a successful businesswoman who owns her sexuality and is taking on a new career path. It disappoints me when other women tear down her ambitions because of her outward appearance and historically less-traditional path to fame. Law is still a very challenging, male-dominated field, and perhaps the reality TV star can use her influence to shed some light on the discrimination that goes on behind the scenes.
You can think that Kardashian West would be a terrible lawyer and that there’s no chance she’ll ever pass the bar, but blasting that opinion all over Twitter is unnecessary. People often view celebrities as these mythical creatures that don’t read comments or are impervious to hate, but that’s obviously not true. The internet would be a much better place if users saw each other as real people with real feelings.
Maybe Kardashian West will never actually become a practicing lawyer, but maybe she will. If she does, that means there’s one more woman out there fighting for justice. If she doesn’t, having some law background is still great if she plans to continue helping people like Johnson. Either way, studying law is hard, and her efforts shouldn’t be written off as a joke just because of her name.