Single Mom Goes Into Labor During Final Exam, Graduates Harvard Law With Her Baby

Briana Williams persevered through final exams, going into labor, giving birth and graduating from Harvard as single mom.

Yet she persisted.

Briana Williams was not about to let going into labor keep her from taking her final exams at Harvard Law School. She did not let being a single mom stop her from graduating from the prestigious university. And she sure as heck wasn't going to let anything stop her from caring for her baby while simultaneously becoming a lawyer.

The 24-year-old is currently in Los Angeles, studying for the California Bar exam, and taking care of her 1-year-old daughter with a big boost from her father. 

"She's the most amazing kid of all time," she told Wednesday. 

Her mom isn't bad, either. 

When she got pregnant last year, and the father made it clear he wasn't on board for the long haul, Williams decided to go it alone. She never considered an abortion, she said. Instead, she started planning. She arranged to take her Family Law class final at home, in the last weeks of her pregnancy, so she could get it out of the way before her baby came.

As it turned out, she went into labor while taking the test. She went to the hospital and was given an epidural, she said. As soon as the drugs kicked in, she finished up the exam. The pain she felt was "definitely a 10," she said. But once the epidural took effect, she felt only a little "uncomfortable." Seven hours after putting down her pen, she gave birth to Evelyn.

She finished her last year at Harvard in a sleep-deprived haze of middle-of-the-night feedings, diaper changes, undependable babysitters and going to school. Sometimes she had no one to take care of her baby, "so we just rolled into class together," she said.

Often, Evelyn spent the day in the Dean of Students' office, where she was well cared for while her mother was in a lecture hall. 

"I'm going to be honest with you guys," she wrote in an Instagram post last week. "I didn't 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," she said. 

"This journey has been heart-wrenching."

But, she says, she wouldn't change a thing. "I pray that, for the sake of my baby, I will be an example," she wrote. "Evelyn, they said that because of you, I would't be able to do this. Just know that I did this BECAUSE OF YOU. Thank you giving me the strength and courage to be invincible. Let's keep beating all their odds, baby."

Williams put herself through college and law schools with student loans. She takes the Bar exam in July. She already has a job lined up, at a general litigation law firm, with a starting annual salary of $180,000. 

But the light of her life is Evelyn, who now greets her mother's phone calls with a bright, "Hi momma!"

"She's so sweet," Williams says. "She is loving. She doesn't care who you are — she just likes you."