Even though she just gave birth, she wanted nothing more than to finish the test. "There just wasn't another option in my mind," Hill said.
The BAR exam is no easy feat; a ton of preparation that goes into it. As intense as the exam is, one woman from Illinois took it up a notch by having a baby in the middle of the exam. Brianna Hill, a recent graduate of the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago, was aware of the fact that she'd be pregnant during her BAR exam, but not this pregnant. Apparently, the test was to happen in July, but due to the pandemic, it was pushed to October. "I thought I would only be 28 weeks pregnant when I took the bar," Hill told CNN. This year's been full of surprises for all of us, hasn't it?
Congrats JD & new mom Brianna Hill on the birth of her baby & completing the bar. We’re extremely impressed by how committed & resilient Ms. Hill was, and we’re deeply troubled the inflexibility of the exam left her no other options! #BarExam #Barpocalypse https://t.co/2B6prC2AlT— National Disabled Law Students Association (@NatDLSA) October 10, 2020
"However, due to the pandemic, the test was pushed to October and I was going to be 38 weeks. I joked about taking the test from my hospital bed. Lesson learned!" Since all exams are happening remotely, the BAR exam is four 90-minute sections spread out over two days. Since the examination is proctored, Hill says candidates taking the exam have to sit in front of the computer the whole time. "I thought I felt something about 30 minutes into the test and actually thought, 'I really hope my water didn't just break,'" Hill said. But she couldn't get up and check, because of the rules.
This story of how Brianna Hill finished the Bar exam after having her baby between sections of the test was shared with me as an 'inspirational' no hurdles are too high that women can't overcome them…— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) October 11, 2020
"But I couldn't go check and so I finished the first section. As soon as I stood up when I finished, I knew my water had broken." Despite going into labor in the middle of taking a test, it did not stop her from accomplishing her goal. "I took my break, got myself cleaned up, called my husband, midwife, and mom, cried because I was a little panicked, then sat down to take the second part because my midwife told me I had time before I needed to go to the hospital." Hill got to the hospital around 5:30 pm and she eventually gave birth to her baby boy at 10 pm that night.
While this is no doubt amazing & a feat, I think we should be careful not to endorse messaging that suggests women must suffer, endure and challenge their very being just to get by.— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) October 11, 2020
"The whole time my husband and I were talking about how we wanted me to finish the test and my midwife and nurses were so on board. There just wasn't another option in my mind," Hill said. The hospital staff was accommodating as well, and they provided Hill with an empty room to finish the test and put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Hill took the rest of the exam in that room and even nursed her baby during breaks. "I'm so thankful for the support system I had around me. The midwives and nurses were so invested in helping me not only become a mom but also a lawyer," Hill said.
I hope she gets some rest and time with her child.— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) October 11, 2020
I hope the same for all women.
I know that in this society that undermines women that it may seem like I'm asking for a lot, but I'm asking for fairness, care & for better.
"My husband and law school friends provided me with so much encouragement so I could push through the finish line even under less than ideal circumstances. And my family, especially my sister, just kept reminding me how I could do it even when I wasn't so sure myself." As per NBC Chicago, she experienced pre-term labor while preparing for the test, so that quite helped her when the scenario got real. Hill doesn't know just yet if she's passed the BAR exam, but she will find out in December. Having said that, she's already got a job lined up. Now, isn't that wonderful?
One comment in the group I received it in was "This is how RBG would've handled it! Kudos!" 😐— Ottilia Anna MaSibanda (@MaS1banda) October 11, 2020