By Nancy Flanders
Together, a judge and a new lawyer have helped show the world that women can accomplish great things while pregnant and parenting. While swearing in the new lawyer this week, the judge held her one-year-old son so the two could enjoy the special moment together. That moment was captured in a video that is getting love from across social media.
Belmont University College of Law graduate Juliana Lamar became pregnant and delivered her son Beckham via C-section during law school. It wasn’t easy to balance the two, especially since the school had a strict policy on how many classes students were allowed to miss. But Lamar said her husband, Javon, who is serving in the US Army, helped her through it all, as did Judge Richard Dinkins.
“Judge Dinkins has also been a guiding light during my legal career,” Lamar told BuzzFeed News. “When I was nine months pregnant, the day before I found out I needed to be induced, Judge Dinkins spoke of the importance of voting at an event I hosted as the President of my school’s Black Law Students’ Association. During this event Judge Dinkins reminded me of how proud he was of me and that he knew I would do great things, even with a baby in tow.”
At her swearing-in, Lamar was thrilled to have her baby there with her as Judge Dinkins swore her in. The judge can be seen bouncing little Beckham on his hip in an adorable video that has over 600,000 views.
Y’all. Judge Dinkins of the Tennessee Court of Appeals swore in my law school colleague with her baby on his hip, and I’ve honestly never loved him more. pic.twitter.com/kn0L5DakHO
— Sarah Martin (@sarahfor5) November 9, 2019
“On the day of my swearing-in, right before we began, Judge said he wanted Beckham to take part in the moment,” said Lamar. “And I am so glad he did because to have my son take part in one of the greatest moments of my life was truly a blessing.”
Lamar is not the only woman who has succeeded in graduating from law school while pregnant and parenting. In 2018, single mom Briana Williams graduated from Harvard Law School with her one-year-old daughter in tow, whom she gave birth to during final exams.
“I suppose I just did what I had to do,” she told Yahoo, “regardless of how I felt on the inside, because I did not want people to be able to say that I had to choose between motherhood and success.”
Nayzia Thomas became a social media star after her mother took a photo of her working on her final exams while in the hospital having a baby boy. She even experienced major blood loss and went into shock after delivery but was able to overcome it all and earn a 3.5 GPA.
Lamar, for her part, hopes that her situation will change things for future female lawyers who face a pregnancy during college. “The pressure I felt was horrible, and I hope it has led my law school to rethink its policies for future mothers,” she said. “I understand having a child during law school is often a choice, however, as young female professionals there is not a perfect time for us to have children.”
She’s right. There is rarely a “perfect” time for any woman to have a baby. The fears will always be there. The what-ifs will always be there. But your baby is a one-of-a-kind human being who deserves to be there too.
Editor’s note. This appeared at LiveActionNews and is reposted with permission.