You can Keep Up With the Kardashians and keep up with Kim Kardashian’s new career as well.
The 39-year-old reality star debuted the trailer for her two-hour documentary, Justice Project, at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday.
Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project airs April 5 on Oxygen and the two-hour doc shows her being visibly moved by prison inmates recounting their stores of landing behind bars.
“There is a mass incarceration problem in the United States,” Kardashian says at the beginning of the trailer.
She says that she started to “get letters hearing the circumstances of their lives.”
The mother of four says she went into this “knowing nothing and then my heart completely opened up.”
Kardashian also talks to their families and friends, lobbies public officials and consults with their attorneys as well as her own.
It features four cases, including a sex trafficking victim and a woman who murdered the family member who molested her. Each of them believes they received unfair sentences; two of them end up being released.
“Once you hear the circumstances that led them to make those decisions, your heart would completely open up,” Kardashian told the The Associated Press.
She continued: “I hope that this is a step to opening up people’s hearts and minds. And then hopefully, they can help with changing some actual laws that really do have to be changed.”
Executive producer Vince DiPersio said Kardashian was taking on a “fair amount of risk” by advocating the release of prisoners.
“She is a nationally known figure, and she has a big brand. God forbid someone gets out and does something terrible, but Kim is willing to take that risk,” he said.
Kardashian began advocating for criminal justice reform after helping Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother serving a life plus 25-year sentence as a first-time non-violent drug offender.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star took Johnson’s case all the way to a White House meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, who granted Johnson clemency in 2018.
“I’m raising four black children that could face a situation like any of the people that I help,” Kardashian said. “So just to know that I could make a difference in my children’s lives and their friends’ lives and their children’s lives by helping to fix such a broken system, that is just so motivating for me. I’m not doing it for publicity. I really do care.”
Last April, Kardashian announced that she decided to pivot careers from reality TV star to lawyer.
She told Vogue that she’s been studying to become a lawyer and decided to begin a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco, with hopes to take the bar exam in 2022.
“I had to think long and hard about this,” Kardashian said of her decision to switch careers.
California is one of the four states in the United States that allows prospective lawyers to do apprenticeships instead of attending law school. There are certain things Kardashian must do during her four-year apprenticeship.
Kardashian and her supervising attorney need to submit semi-annual progress reports to the California Bar Association, and she needs to take (and pass) the First-Year Law Student’s Exam.
She also needs to be studying law at the firm during regular business hours for a minimum of 18 hours each week for at least 48 weeks to receive credit for one year of study.
Following her four-year apprenticeship, Kardashian needs to take (and pass) the bar and get a positive moral character determination. She will also need to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.
Now, Kardashian has said that she’s a step closer to becoming a lawyer after finishing her first year of study as an apprentice.
She said that her next step is taking the “baby bar,” because it’s a one-day exam.
If she passes, she plans to study for another three years and then take the California bar exam.
“I’m super-motivated, and I really want to see it through,” she said. “There’s obviously times where I’m overwhelmed and stressed and feel like I have a lot on my plate. My kids know that I’m in school just like they are. It’s 20 hours a week, so it is a lot of my time.”
— With files from The Associated Press