Full marks for effort! Law student gives birth during her bar exam and still manages to complete the test

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Brianna Hill was busy writing a crucial law exam when she went into labour, giving birth to a healthy baby boy. ( Photo: Brianna Hill)
Brianna Hill was busy writing a crucial law exam when she went into labour, giving birth to a healthy baby boy. ( Photo: Brianna Hill)

If anyone can handle pressure, it’s Brianna Hill.

The American student was busy writing a crucial law exam when she went into labour, giving birth to a healthy baby boy – and she still managed to finish the test. Brianna knew she'd be pregnant while taking her final test towards becoming a lawyer, but when the coronavirus lockdown changed the timing of the exam, she suddenly realised just how pregnant she would be.

"It was supposed to be in July," she says. The Loyola University School of Law student was 38 weeks pregnant when she sat down to take the Illinois State Bar exam, which had originally been scheduled for July but was delayed due to the pandemic.

The test, which was taken remotely, involves four 90-minute sections and is taken over two days, with a camera having to be on the whole time to ensure no one cheats.

The new mom told CNN she was about 30 minutes into the exam when she stood up and realised her waters had broken. She wasn't allowed to leave, so she finished the first section. During a break, Brianna made a few important calls then went back to finish the rest of her exam.

"I took my break, got myself cleaned up, called my husband, midwife and mum, and cried because I was a little panicked," she said. "Then I sat down to take the second part because my midwife told me I had time before I needed to go to the hospital.

"She then completed the first portion of her exam and several hours later gave birth to a healthy son, Cassius Phillip, at West Suburban Hospital in Oakpark, Illinois. But there was still another day of exams to go.

Determined to finish what she’d started, Brianna spent the following day in hospital taking the final leg of the test. "They set up a spare room for me," she said. "They put a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign on the door.

"The plucky mom breastfed during breaks and eventually completed her exam. Brianna doesn't know yet if she’s passed the exam – she’ll find out in early December. Fingers crossed for this determined mom! 

SOURCES: CNN, THE NEW YORK TIMES, DAILY MAIL

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24