Making your way in the legal world these days is tough. We’ve seen lawyers who’ve had to turn to stripping, prostitution, and even whoring. It’s just hard to make ends meet when jobs are tight and debt’s creeping up on you.
Which is why this woman may have the right idea. She got all her stripping out of the way before law school so she could pay the bills and now she takes nude glamour shots (or at least semi-nude — she covers herself just enough) for 12 hours a week and lives the high life while still in law school. Pretty sweet deal. Her experience can be an inspiration for Belle Knox’s plan to finance law school with porn stardom.
So let’s take a closer look. And by look, I mean here are some (safe for most workplaces) pictures…
The student in question is Vanessa Knowles (well, that’s the name she uses for her pictures), who is finishing up her second year at London University and will graduate with her LLB in September. Without further ado, here’s a pic from her Twitter feed:
There are racier shots over here.
What Knowles does with her pictures is beyond clever. Using an Amazon Wishlist, Knowles managed to entice fans to purchase all of her textbooks for her. The idea that sexy snapshots are being traded for academic literature must have Larry Flynt rolling in his grave. Well, he’s not dead yet, but you get the point. As the Daily Mail reports:
Online admirers dish out hundreds of pounds to chat with Vanessa, who poses topless in revealing lingerie.
And although the legal world might frown upon her sideline, it has enabled her to pocket up to £50,000 a year, with her fans even splashing out £2000 for legal textbooks.
She says: ‘Doing a law degree is the biggest challenge I could have taken on, and I’ve wanted to become a lawyer since I was a little girl.
‘I know the legal industry is conservative – but doing my adult work shouldn’t stop me from being a great lawyer.
‘My fans have paid for every one of my 100 textbooks and I encourage them to buy me gifts from an Amazon wish list.
‘If I mention something I need for my degree on Twitter then ten minutes later someone has brought it for me.
‘They’ve got me so much stationery that I’ve kitted out a home office, and I’m always dressed in designer labels for my work placements.’
Knowles started out in the adult industry at 18, but never lost her passion for the law. Now, seven years later, she’s getting her law degree and contemplating a long-term career in intellectual property law. And unlike some people, she’s not the sort of person inspired by Elle Woods. No, Knowles has a more serious bent when it comes to the law and a strong interest in policy, especially women’s rights and the relationship of the adult industry to domestic violence. How she chooses to make ends meet may raise eyebrows, but people shouldn’t discount her intelligence. In fact, part of her motivation for getting a law degree was her boredom with the adult industry because it didn’t intellectually challenge her.
And that’s why the present media interest in the Vanessa Knowles story — which has drawn us in as well — seems fixated on an unfair frame. Portraying Knowles as some kind of curiosity with “beauty and brains” ironically reads as objectifying as just reducing her to an image. The “smart adult entertainer makes good” story exposes the underlying bias that we all assume adult entertainers must be vapid. Knowles — the woman on camera — is very much a character created by a smart woman rather than an identity defining the law student. If she’d written a novel, we wouldn’t define her intellect by what she has her characters do, so why do that here? It may be a fine line, but that’s why the more interesting story to me is how the legal community will react when she finishes school.
While most of the mainstream media jumped on this story for the first time yesterday, our friends over at Legal Cheek have been on this story for months. And unlike the mainstream folks, Legal Cheek has actually operated from the premise that Knowles is a real person. They even had Knowles over for an interview where she talked about the advantages and disadvantages of her funding plan. After all, the money may be good, but can she secure a legal training contract, let alone a long-term job, in the buttoned-down world of law with her background? Happily, it sounds like some firms are more open-minded than one would expect, as Knowles reports healthy interest from some firms outside of London, and even some attention from firms in the big city.
The moral of this story for traditionally conservative law firms, in a world where more and more people will have gaps in their C.V. filled with potentially less prestigious jobs, is that they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
They should at least get someone on Twitter to buy the book for them first.
Law student posts semi-naked selfies on Twitter in bid to fund legal textbook costs [Legal Cheek]
Interview: Glamour model and law student Vanessa Knowles on her quest to bag a training contract [Legal Cheek]
‘Lap-dancing and webcam work teaches me transferable legal skills’: Law student set to scoop a first funds degree by stripping online – and earns £50k a year from it! [Daily Mail]
This Student Uses Her Own Assets To Pay Her Law School Tuition [EveryJoe]
Earlier: Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Stripper? From the Bar to the Pole
Lawyer Ethics Commission Accuses Reema Bajaj of Trading Sex for Office Supplies
Belle Knox, The Duke Porn Princess, Is Coming To A Law School Near You!