Briana Williams, 24, recently graduated from law school. And as if that isn’t an accomplishment on its own, the new mama took her Harvard Law finals while in labor. Yep, that’s right. Harvard Law School finals. In labor.

Williams recently posted a cap and gown pic of herself on Instagram. But she wasn’t the only one in her grad photo. The mama was holding her baby daughter, Evelyn. The recent law school grad/mommy wrote, “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.” Whoa!

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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

Not only did Williams complete her final while in labor, but she also completed the final year of law school as a single mom. Williams added (on IG), “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.”

Like other moms across the country, Williams also had childcare issues. At times she asked the Dean of Students’ office to watch her daughter. If that wasn’t possible, she took baby Evelyn to class with her. Even though graduating from one of the, if not the most, prestigious (and challenging) law schools in the country is a pretty amazing accomplishment for anyone, Williams certainly went above and beyond.

I am everything I am because you love me. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

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

Heck, some of us having trouble finding the time to shower or put on something other than last week’s yoga pants. And Williams managed to make it through a grueling academic program. Of her accomplishment, Williams wrote, “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.”Amazing!

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Briana Williams via Instagram 

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