Aspiring lawyer who went into labour during family law exam celebrates Harvard graduation

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Asked for an epidural and got on with the MCQs

Brianna Williams and her daughter Evelyn. Image credit: Instagram (@lovexbriana)

An American law student who powered on through her Harvard exams despite going into labour has graduated from the elite American uni — and says baby Evelyn was her inspiration.

Single mother Briana Williams told her Instagram followers in a viral post that she began experiencing contractions during her second-year family law exam at Harvard Law School. But rather than jeopardise her mark or try for extenuating circumstances, she apparently asked for an epidural painkilling injection and finished the exam before heading off to give birth. As you do.

I went into labor in April- during final exam period. I immediately requested an epidural so that my contractions wouldn’t interfere with my Family Law grade. And, with tears in my eyes, I finished it. This “biting the bullet” experience is quite quintessential of my time at Harvard. To say that my last year of law school, with a newborn, and as a single mom was a challenge would be an understatement. Some days I was so mentally and emotionally fatigued that I did not leave my bed. I struggled with reliable childcare. It was not atypical to see me rushing through Wasserstein to the Dean of Students’ office with Evelyn in her carriage, asking DOS can they keep her for a few until class was over. If not, she’d just have to come with me to class. Evie attended classes often. So I’m going to be honest with you guys.. I didnt think I could do it. I did not think that, at 24 years old, as a single mom, I would be able to get through one of the most intellectually rigorous and challenging positions of my life. It was hard. It hurt. Instagram can make peoples’ lives seem seamless, but this journey has been heartwrenching. However, I am happy to say that I DID do it. Today, Evelyn in my arms, with tears streaming down my face, I accepted my Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. At first, I was the anomaly of my [marginalized] community. Then, as a single mother, I became a statistic. Next, I pray that- for the sake of my baby, I will be an example. Evelyn- they said that because of you I wouldn’t be able to do this. Just know that I did this BECAUSE OF YOU. Thank you for giving me the strength and courage to be invincible. Let’s keep beating all their odds, baby.

A post shared by Briana Williams, J.D. (@lovexbriana) on

Williams then had the daunting prospect of completing her final year at the top law school with a newborn baby in tow. It’s a challenge even Elle Woods never had to overcome.

But she did it, and the pictures of Williams with now one-year-old Evelyn at her Juris Doctor graduation are pretty damn adorable.

Addressing her little girl in the Inta post, which has over 20,000 likes, Williams wrote:

“Evelyn- they said that because of you I wouldn’t be able to do this. Just know that I did this BECAUSE OF YOU. Thank you for giving me the strength and courage to be invincible. Let’s keep beating all their odds, baby.”

The social media star told USA Today that she already has a job lined up with an LA firm, provided she passes the bar exam while juggling Evelyn. On past performance, it doesn’t sound like she’ll have much trouble.


N Tesla

On an unrelated matter:
Who do you think *owns* Legal Cheek? Hello.



Cool it with the anti-Semitic remarks!


Corbyn. Sympathiser

Afraid someone’s stealing your schtick are you Trumpy?



You didn’t get the cinematic reference? I thought you Momentum creeps were supposed to be cultured.


Corbyn. Sympathiser

Weird, I assumed when you heard the word “culture” you reached for a gun.

Nice to know you only oppose antisemitism to let others know you’ve watched American Psycho, though. Very principled.


Juggling Evelyn? This is a young life, not a project or a case file. There is something grotesque about journalists lining up to trumpet this woman’s irresponsible behaviour. Oh and where’s the father? Nowhere to be seen, of course!



Have you ever commented positively about anything?


Corbyn. Sympathiser

If you lived your life in your mum’s basement crying about all the millions of failures in your life (and small genitalia) you’d be pretty bitter too.



Now I feel inferior. I juggled law school with a borderline alcohol addiction and a lethargic attitude.



Irresponsible? Exactly how? I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with children, I began my postgrad pregnant. Guess I’m just irresponsible. Phone da soshal.


Breaking News

Millbank are now paying NQ’s $190k…More than a new CMS Salary Partner haha.



What an inspiration. Talented woman.





Yale JD

my thoughts exactly


JD Partner

Recruitment events at Harvard = unexpected consequences



Judging by Legalcheek comments you appear to lead a busy life outside the office!


JD Trainee

And in the office 🙁



Write about Milbank salary increase!!!



So this is the “inspiring standard” now, epidurals so you can finish an exam? I was very naive when I was younger and actually lived up to this level, for many years, because I believed people saying I was lazy if I didn’t. I didn’t get congratulations, just more pressure to do more, more, more more. Eventually my body broken down because of the limits of human endurance and I almost died, and all anyone had to say was “why did you push so hard, idiot”. She obviously worked very hard, and it is impressive, but it also tragic, this is not something we should be celebrating and glorifying.


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