Single Mom Writes Inspiring Post After Graduating From Harvard Law School

June 1, 2018

A 24-year-old single mom just graduated Harvard Law school and opened up about her experience in an Instagram post that has since gone viral.

single mom graduates harvard law with newborn
Credit: Briana Williams / Instagram

Briana Williams finished a final exam while she was in labor. After her daughter was born, during her final year of law school, she learned to breastfeed with one arm while writing a paper with the other.

She brought her baby to class with her often. Other times she asked the Dean of Students to watch her child until class was over.

"I didn't think I could do it," Williams said.

But her hard work and determination paid off. Last week, Williams walked across the graduation stage with her daughter in her arms wearing matching caps and gowns.

This is what she wrote on Instagram:

"I went into labor in April- during final exam period. I immediately requested an epidural so that my contractions wouldn't interfere with my Family Law grade. And, with tears in my eyes, I finished it. This 'biting the bullet' experience is quite quintessential of my time at Harvard. To say that my last year of law school, with a newborn, and as a single mom was a challenge would be an understatement. 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 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.

So I'm going to be honest with you guys.. I didnt 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. It was hard. It hurt. Instagram can make peoples' lives seem seamless, but this journey has been heartwrenching. However, I am happy to say that I DID do it.

Today, Evelyn in my arms, with tears streaming down my face, I accepted my Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. At first, I was the anomaly of my [marginalized] community. Then, as a single mother, I became a statistic. Next, I pray that- for the sake of my baby, I will be an example.

Evelyn- they said that because of you I wouldn't be able to do this. 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."

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