Woman Starts Bar Exam, Has Baby, Finishes Bar Exam

Brianna Hill was 30 minutes into test when labor began
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2020 10:30 AM CDT
Woman Works Childbirth Into Taking Bar Exam
Stock photo   (Getty/Lincoln Beddoe)

Brianna Hill said being in the middle of her bar exam kept her mind off being in labor, though it could just as easily have worked the other way around. The recent law school grad, 38 weeks pregnant, was taking the first part of the Illinois State Bar exam at home when she felt something. "I really hope my water didn't just break," she thought. Hill had to stay where she was, though; the test is proctored online, so she couldn't leave the computer. Hill was just a half-hour into the two 90-minute tests she had to complete that day, CNN reports. "As soon as I stood up when I finished, I knew my water had broken," she said. Hill didn't back out of the exam. "I took my break, got myself cleaned up, called my husband, midwife, and mom, cried because I was a little panicked, then sat down to take the second part because my midwife told me I had time before I needed to go to the hospital."

Cassius Phillip Andrew—6 pounds, 5 ounces—was born less than five hours after his mother arrived at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois. That left only the bar exam incomplete. The staff set aside a room for her to finish it the next day, per ABC, complete with a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. She nursed her son during breaks. "The midwives and nurses were so invested in helping me not only become a mom but also a lawyer," Hill said. This wasn't the plan, of course. The test had been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. "I thought I would only be 28 weeks pregnant when I took the bar," she said. The bar exam results aren't in yet, but the graduate of Loyola University Law School in Chicago starts work as a legal aid organizer in the city in January. "Life throws curve balls at you but when I have a goal," Hill said, "I'm going to see it through." (More bar exam stories.)

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