Determined Chicagoan Finishes Bar Exam While In Labor


Chicago, Illinois ~ (Chicago Tribune) ~ An extremely driven Chicago suburbanite finished her bar exam late July 2011.  Oh yeah, and she was in labor during the test.

The Chicago Tribune reports that 29-year-old Chicagoan Elana Nightingale Dawson went into labor during the final portion of bar exam on Wednesday July 27th at Northwestern Law School.  Having completed the morning section of the multiple-choice exam but when she returned to complete the afternoon portion, she began to have contractions.

In order for the exam to valid, the final portion must be finished.  In other words, if Nightingale Dawson didn’t finish her exam, even though she was in labor, she would have to start all over again.

Nightingale Dawson stated her goal was “to get through the exam as fast as I could and leave” unless, of course, anything serious happened.  She was having contractions 15 minutes apart.  “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,” she stated.

Upon finishing the final portion of her test, she was escorted by the proctor to a Chicago hospital about one block away.  She had to ask special permission to leave as policy calls for bar test participants to stay until the end of the permitted time, whether they have finished or not.

Nightingale Dawson’s son, whom she named Wilson, was delivered via C-section around two hours later.

She won’t be able to find out if she passed the bar exam until October.

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