Is Kim Kardashian Really Studying Law? She Wouldn’t Be the First Celeb to Become a Lawyer

Kim Kardashian, Esq.? The 38-year-old reality TV star stunned fans when she revealed in a Vogue interview published Wednesday that she is studying to become a lawyer.

Kardashian explained said that she decided to pursue a legal career after she got involved in the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who had been in prison since 1996 on non-violent drug charges. Karshashian lobbied President Trump for Johnson’s release, but as she dug into the case, she realized she needed to know more if she really wanted to change the criminal justice system in America.

“I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society,” she told Vogue. “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’s not going to law school

Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian | Jared Siskin/amfAR/Getty Images

Kardashian is taking an unusual path to becoming a lawyer. Most people earn an undergraduate degree — which Kardashian doesn’t have — and then go on to law school to complete their J.D. and (hopefully) pass the bar exam. But California is one of a handful of states that lets people sit for the bar exam without going to law school.

Instead of heading to class, she’ll spend four years as an apprentice, working 18 hours a week under a pair of practicing attorneys. After she completes her first year of study, she’ll take the “baby bar.” If she passes, she can continue for three more years of apprenticeship and then take the California bar exam.

But getting licensed may prove to be a challenge. In July 2017, just 28 people sat for the bar exam in California under the 4-year qualification rule, and only 5 passed, according to the State Bar of California.

She won’t be the first celebrity to become a lawyer

If Kardashian does pass the bar exam, she’ll be making a fairly unusual career move from celebrity to lawyer. But she wouldn’t be the first to do so. A number of famous people — most of them former child stars — have gone on to become lawyers.

Jeff Cohen is familiar to ‘80s kids as Chunk in The Goonies. When work as an actor dried up, he ended up going to law school at UCLA. He’s now an entertainment lawyer with his own firm, Cohen Gardner LLP.

Charlie Korsmo starred in a string of movies in the early 1990s, including Hook, Dick Tracy, and What About Bob? His last major on-screen role was in 1998’s Can’t Hardly Wait, but in 2018, he returned to movies in the indie Chained for Life. In the meantime, he earned a B.S. in physics from MIT, went to law school at Yale, and is now a law professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Josh Saviano played Kevin Arnold’s best friend Josh on The Wonder Years. He later went to Yale, where he earned a degree in political science, and then to Cardozo School of Law. He spent more than a decade at the New York law firm Morrison Cohen LLP, and then went on to found Act 3 Advisors, where he “partner[s] with artists and entrepreneurs who are looking to make the transition from individual artist to branded business,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sheila Kuehl will be familiar to fans of classic TV. She played Zelda Gilroy on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and also appeared on iconic sitcoms like The Beverly Hillbillies, The Donna Reed Show, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Eventually, she left acting and enrolled in law school at Harvard.  She went on to serve in the California State Senate and State Assembly and is now on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

A number of other celebs, including Jerry Springer, Hill Harper, Geraldo Rivera, and Gerard Butler, have law degrees, but they earned them before they became famous.  

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