Woman Finishes Bar Exam ... in Labor
Elana Nightingale Dawson breathed through the contractions
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2011 9:28 AM CDT
It's normal for law students to be stressed during their bar exam, but not like this...   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A recent Northwestern law school graduate was a little distracted as she completed the second and final day of the Illinois bar exam last Wednesday … by the very impending arrival of her newborn son, the Chicago Tribune reports. Elana Nightingale Dawson says the contractions began during the three-hour afternoon portion of the test—at first, they were 20 to 30 minutes apart. But the 29-year-old was determined to finish, since the test isn't valid unless it's completed in its entirety. By the time she left at 4pm, her contractions were 15 minutes apart.

"My goal was to get through the exam as fast as I could and leave, barring anything happening that made me think there was something more imminent going on," she says. She walked one convenient block to a Northwestern hospital and delivered healthy son Wilson via C-section ... at 5:58pm. Dawson will find out whether she passed in October. "The last hours of the exam were not my strongest moments in terms of focus," she said, "so I am perfectly content with what happens."