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

(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.

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"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." (Read more Chicago stories.)

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