When Kim Kardashian West landed the May cover of Vogue, the element of her cover story that caused the biggest stir was the revelation that she has been moonlighting as a law student since last summer. As outlined in the Vogue profile, Kardashian West did not complete college, but she can, in fact, still become a lawyer. The state of California offers a backdoor of sorts, known as “reading the law.” This system involves a four-year apprenticeship under a practicing lawyer, and Kardashian West is currently finishing up her first year. Under these auspices, she spends a minimum of 18 hours a week, five of which are supervised, with Jessica Jackson and Erin Haney, her mentors. With 75 college credits (15 credits over the minimum), Kardashian West is also taking written and multiple-choice tests each month and sending biannual progress reports to the California State Bar, all so that she can complete the “baby bar,” or a modified version of the bar exam that covers the areas of the law a first-year law student would study. This is how Abe Lincoln was able to become a lawyer, long before law school was even a reality.
Most of the general response to Kardashian West’s announcement that she’s pivoting to a new profession was a show of respect, and though the news may have initially seemed like a shock, it shouldn’t have been. Kardashian West has shown an interest in prison reform, working on the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who received a life sentence for a nonviolent offense, and speaking with Donald Trump at the White House to work on passing new laws. But there were still a few skeptics.
Kardashian West is opening up about her experience studying for the baby bar, responding to the doubters telling her to “stay in her lane” on Instagram. “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,” Kardashian West wrote. “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.”
In her first year, she’s studying criminal law, torts, and contracts. According to Kardashian West, “torts is the most confusing, contracts the most boring, and crim law I can do in my sleep. Took my first test, I got a 100. Super easy for me.” But being in law school is not only about nailing tests, and it requires a lot of time—18 hours a week, in her case—to study. “The reading is what really gets me,” Kardashian West told Vogue. “It’s so time-consuming. The concepts I grasp in two seconds.”
So where does she find the time to spend 18 hours a week—many of which involve weekly trips up to San Francisco—studying to be a lawyer, while also managing multiple businesses, producing her own reality series, raising three kids, and preparing for another on the way? The short answer is, she doesn’t just find the time, she makes time. “For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it’s not,” she explained. “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,” she continued. She even changed her phone number to “disconnect from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine.”
And she wants her followers to know that, just like everyone else, “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.”
This Instagram moment might not be part of Kardashian West’s commitment to “disconnect” and hunker down with her textbooks, but every student needs the occasional social media break when studying for a big test. She also has a “big torts essay due on negligence” coming up this week, so surely Instagram is a welcome mini-distraction. Here’s hoping she turns it in before the weekend so that she can celebrate with her first Coachella experience on Sunday.