Law students spend three, arduous years of studying in order to prepare for the Bar exam. Those who pass go on to begin their legal careers and dream of the days they can ascend to become partner. However, there are the select few people who do not put in the hard work to become an attorney and just tell people that they are one. Recently, yet another “attorney” was caught pretending to be an attorney.
A young woman by the name of Kimberly Kitchen of Pennsylvania, who recently worked with BMZ Law Offices, is accused of lying about whether she passed the Bar or not. She claimed to have graduated from Duquesne University School of Law in 2005, and had been working at the law firm for about a decade. In fact, Kitchen was promoted to partner at BMZ Law Office in April 2014. After some investigation, it became clear that Kitchen was using someone’s attorney ID number to “practice” law. She claimed to have been a professor at Columbia Law School, and worked as a paralegal at Reed Smith for nearly 10 years on her LinkedIn profile. In addition, the state’s Attorney Registration Office has no record of an attorney named Kimberly Kitchen on file.
Kitchen is not the only one who has lied about being an honest attorney. We wrote about an LA lawyer who photoshopped herself into images with celebrities in order to gain more business. Despite not having any attorney records, she was able to become president of the Huntingdon County Bar Association. Somehow, she was able to fool those around her about her law degree and bar admission for quite some time. Kitchen is being charged with forgery, unauthorized practice of law, and felony records tampering.
After BMZ realized she had been lying about her legal career, they released a statement stating, “Sadly, it would appear that our firm was the last, in a long line of professionals, to have been deceived by Ms. Kitchen into believing she was licensed to practice law. We are undertaking a thorough review of each and every file she may have handled.” This is a peculiar situation and embarrassing for the woman, but especially embarrassing for the law firm. Becoming an accredited attorney is a long process that requires hard work and dedication, and those cheating the system eventually do pay the price for their actions.