What comes to mind when I say the word Kardashian? Probably one of the most famous families—well, ever. You may have thoughts zapping back to a teeny tiny reality-TV programme called Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which aired for over a decade and had us hooked on the antics of the Kardashian clan for 20 seasons. I can almost guarantee the second thing that comes to mind is none other than the most famous Kardashian—Kim. Whether it be the iconic clip of her in hysterics over losing a diamond earring, taking selfies in the car en route to collect her sister from jail or the infamous line “Don’t be fucking rude,” as she swung her giant handbag at her sister Khloé, there’s no escaping her ‘ugly cry’ face in pop culture. However, it seems like she is also making waves in the judicial world with her latest accomplishment—passing California’s ‘baby bar’ law exam.
Kardashian is known for a myriad of iconic reality-TV gold, controversial fashion moments—like the dementor-level look she sported for the Met Gala 2021—and a fair share of infamous scandals. I even remember her eating her own placenta on the show. Her star power multiplied after marrying (though now currently divorcing) rapper, producer and fashion designer and controversial creative, Kanye West.
The scandalous star and socialite has seemingly hung up her Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits and ditched her days twinning with back-then bestie Paris Hilton for a more ‘serious image’, some would say. Far away from reigning over us all as a Y2K princess, the now businesswoman, boss and beauty brand owner is changing her established track record in the hopes of reforming the criminal justice system.
On the road to becoming a real lawyer, Kardashian recently passed a key law exam on Monday 13 December 2021. In her unconventional quest to become an attorney, she has taken the route of California’s First-Year Law Students’ Examination (or commonly referred to as the baby bar). It is an exam required in the state for aspiring lawyers who haven’t been able to graduate from an accredited law school.
Instead of the traditional law route, which sees law students go to law school (post undergraduate study) to attain their degree and then complete the bar exam to qualify, Kardashian has opted for an alternative route. Without an undergraduate degree, you aren’t able to take the bar exam. However, in California, there is what some say is a loophole to the rule—the option of an apprenticeship gives students supervised mentorship from established lawyers for a certain number of years and comes with an additional test of the baby bar required to take the official bar exam. The exam is a day-long test taken in June and October and it is compulsory for budding lawyers in the state who are not attending an accredited law school.
Maybe it’s in her blood too since her late father, Robert Kardashian, was a famous American attorney who was part of the defence team representing OJ Simpson during his 1995 muder trial. In pursuit of her new passion, on top of being a multimillionaire and social media icon, Kardashian has spent the past few years advocating for criminal justice reform, including lobbying at the White House.
Back in 2019, the celebrity revealed that she wanted to take things further and qualify in law. That’s when she decided to go through the Law Office study programme, in which attorneys-to-be are trained under the supervision of an experienced lawyer or judge. Kardashian thanked Erin Haney and Jessica Jackson on Twitter, and shared that they had brought her along to observe their court appearances.
Kardashian broke the news of passing the baby bar in a series of elated and uplifting social media posts, which urged fans and followers to stick to their goals and to never give up dreams. “OMFGGGG I PASSED THE BABY BAR EXAM!!!!” she wrote to her 70.7 million followers on Twitter, a message accompanied by a picture of her wearing a Balenciaga blue jumpsuit. I mean, it wouldn’t be Kim Kardashian without a sleek figure-hugging fit pic, would it?
“For anyone who doesn’t know my law school journey, know this wasn’t easy or handed to me,” she added.
The State Bar of California disclosed on Monday that baby bar results are confidential, adding that it could not confirm whether Kardashian had passed. But it’s by no means as easy as Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods made it look—Kardashian herself admitted that she failed this exam three separate times prior to passing. Only 21 per cent of those who took the exam in June 2021 passed, which is less than half the rate for the state’s most recent pass rates for the actual bar exam. Looks like you can’t bend and snap your way to being a lawyer after all. In other words, the baby bar is by no means the easy shortcut in.
University of Washington School of Law law professor Steve Calandrillo also celebrated her achievement online. “I am so happy for her,” he wrote. The professor helped Kardashian prepare for the test by tutoring her via Zoom.