Single mom who took final exam while in labor graduates from Harvard Law School

Briana Williams / Instagram

Briana Williams has always dreamed of one day becoming a lawyer.

When she became a single mom a year before she was due to graduate from Harvard Law School, her path to her dream became a little more complicated.

Williams persisted, though, and even took a final exam last April while in labor, before she went to the hospital to give birth.

Now, the 24-year-old has accomplished her ultimate goal and is a proud Harvard graduate. She took to Instagram to share a photo of herself in cap and gown on her graduation day, along with her daughter, Evelyn, who also wore a mini graduate ensemble to match her mom!

Managing Law School As A Single Mom

In the caption with the post, Williams detailed the difficult but rewarding journey that has been navigating law school as a single mom during her baby’s first year of life.

“To say that my last year of law school, with a newborn, and as a single mom was a challenge would be an understatement,” Williams wrote. “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 [Hall] 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. ”

Single Mom Doubts

Williams goes on to admit that she doubted herself and describes her journey as “heart-wrenching,” but says that, ultimately, she is so happy that she was able to beat the odds and accomplish her goal.

In another post, she said she was “scared sh-tless” the first time she stepped onto the Harvard campus, feeling like she didn’t belong. But, over time, she said her background as a black woman from a “disenfranchised background” helped her tremendously in viewing the law from different angles. Her dad told her that being “street smart” was a great asset.

Mom Says She Did It Because of Her Daughter

“Evelyn- they said that because of you I wouldn’t be able to do this,” Williams wrote in the Instagram post that showed her graduating. “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.”

Williams is now studying for the bar exam and will soon start a position in the litigation department of a law firm in Los Angeles. She also encourages people to listen to her podcast, Petty Politics, which addresses social and political issues of the day.

RELATED: This NFL Player’s Random Act Of Kindness Helped A Woman Make Her Flight

Graduate Becomes Social Media Darling

In the week since Williams’ social media post, the internet and media have gone crazy for her focus and determination.

“There were many days that I’d go into a depression because I felt overwhelmed and let the pressure of what I was trying to do get to me,” she told Yahoo. “I refused to allow anyone to assume that my daughter could hold me back in any way when she is such a fundamental piece of my success and courage. I knew that if I persisted, I could help other similarly situated women.”

In another Instagram post thanking Yahoo for allowing her to share her more vulnerable side, the soon-t0-be lawyer wanted to remind people that no one’s life is exactly how it looks online.

“Everyone has their own lives and issues that they hide behind their social media platforms,
she wrote in her post. “My Instagram portrays a much more glam life than I actually live. It can look like I always travel, but that’s because I only really like to post travel photos. There is life in between. I rarely wear makeup, and it’s not often that you will see me out of gym clothes. I don’t ever have enough time!”

Congratulations to Williams on her amazing accomplishment!

RELATED: This grandmother went back to school and earned her degree at 80 years old!

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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything.

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