In recent news, Kim Kardashian West has announced that she will be working on taking the Bar Exam in 2022. Kardashian West was inspired to make the plunge after championing clemency for Alice Johnson
, a now grandmother who was sentenced to life in prison. The crime that sentenced her to life was a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. This was in the early 1990s. After this, Kardashian West felt like she found her calling. She felt that she could truly make a change. Thus, in 2018, she began her path.
How can Kardashian West become a lawyer without obtaining a law degree?
Well, the truth is, California is one of a handful of states that allow an unorthodox method to being able to practice law called, “reading the law”. This method, now referred to as “law readers
” is a method that refers to law offices that are registered in California that create 3 to 4-year apprenticeship programs. Once the program is finished, the apprentice can take the Bar Exam.
Taking a closer look
The Kardashian name has a lot of weight to it, not only in social media but also in the legal field. Robert Kardashian, the renowned lawyer, and father of Kim is mostly known for his part in the O.J. Simpson case. While this is a path that is open for everyone, the opportunity may not come as easy.
Kardashian West has stated that Jessica Jackson Sloan JD and Erin Haney JD will be her two active mentors throughout this process. Sloan obtained her JD degree from Santa Clara University in 2011. She is the mayor of Mill Valley, CA and co-founded the #Cut50 campaign
. This movement’s mission is to cut the incarceration rate and crimes committed in all 50 states. Haney received her JD degree from the University of California, Davis in 2008. Hanley has over 10 years’ experience as an active attorney and is the National Policy Director for the #Cut50 organization.
Law reading is demanding
The law reader strategy can be arguably more work than getting your JD at a law school. This method requires at least 18 hours a week at a law firm, 5 of those hours must be spent overseen by a mentor. Regular multiple choice and written exams are performed monthly with an additional mini-Bar Exam. Needless to say, a task like this requires a large time dedication. This whole process goes on for 3-4 years, this is about the same time it takes to get a Juris Doctor degree.
Once it is all complete, you are permitted to take the Bar Exam. If you pass the Bar, you can now practice law in California. However, you have to apply to law firms to hire you. Finding an office to employ someone who didn’t go to law school can be hard. Again, you have to have strong connections.
Can this work for you?
Law school has always had a negative connotation for being incredibly expensive. While becoming a law reader is significantly less expensive and generates little to no overall debt, opportunity can be hard to find. If you’re wondering how this can work for you, just ask these questions:
- Can you commit 18 hours a week for 4 years?
- Can you commit additional hours to study for the baby bar exam, monthly tests created by your supervisor, and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam?
- Do you know someone who can supervise you for 4 years and that has at least 5 years of good standing with the bar?
It isn’t enough to just decide you want to become a Law Reader. You must find a judge or lawyer who can devote their time and energy to develop monthly tests and submit a semiannual report to the Bar Association along with the answers to the exams given.
Are there other alternatives?
If you are looking to become a lawyer, but can’t dedicate 18 hours a week, or need to find a program that will let you go at your own pace, there is another option. In San Jose, there is a school that has been helping adults come back to school to those fresh out of community college earn their law degrees. Lincoln Law School of San Jose is a non-profit law school that prides itself on affordable tuition and customizable plans just for you. Our night classes give you the opportunity to continue your day schedule without disrupting your legal education. Becoming a lawyer isn’t easy, no matter the path you take it is going to take a lot of commitment and hard work. Lincoln provides you with the right environment to flourish.
Whether you only have 60 undergrad units or are currently in a BA or BS program, you don’t have to wait to go to law school. You only need those 60 credits to apply to Lincoln! We let you get your legal education at your own speed. Interested? Visit our website or give us a call
, we would love to speak with you!