Woman Finishes Bar Exam, Gives Birth


EVANSTON, Ill., Aug. 6 (UPI) — An Illinois woman who went into labor during the second day of her two-day bar exam said she gave birth only two hours after finishing the test.

Elana Nightingale Dawson, 29, a graduate of Northwestern Law School in Evanston, Ill., said she had just started on the 3-hour final portion of the test at the school Wednesday when labor pains began, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

“I thought if I put my head in my hands and breathe deeply and do what I learned in (birthing) class, I would get through it,” Dawson said. “My goal was to get through the exam as fast as I could and leave, barring anything happening that made me think there was something more imminent going on.”

Dawson said she finished the test early and received permission to leave at 4 p.m., when a proctor walked her a block to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital.

Dawson said her husband soon arrived and she gave birth to a boy, Wilson, via Caesarean section at 5:58 p.m., less than two hours after she left the exam room.

The new mother said she will learn the results of the exam in October.

“The last hours of the exam were not my strongest moments in terms of focus,” she said, “so I am perfectly content with what happens.”

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