Woman goes into labor in the middle of the bar exam


This bar exam was more labor-intensive than most.

A pregnant Chicago woman had her water break in the middle of taking the grueling test — and still plowed through half of it before heading to the hospital to deliver her baby.

New mom Brianna Hill, 28, then even finished up the exam the next day — while still in the hospital with her hours-old infant.

“I was determined,’’ Hill told ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America.’’ “Life throws curve balls at you, but when I have a goal, I’m going to see it through.”

The first-time mom, who graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law in May, said she was supposed to take the Illinois Bar on July 28 and 29. The exam consists of four 90-minute sections divided over two days.

Then came COVID-19.

The exam was now to be all online — with test-takers such as Hill monitored by a proctor who watched them on-screen throughout — and was delayed till Oct. 5 and 6. Hill’s due date was about two weeks after that, Oct. 19.

Hill told CNN that on Oct. 5, “I thought I felt something about 30 minutes into the test and actually thought, ‘I really hope my water didn’t just break.’ 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.

“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 said.

She added to “GMA’’ that then, “15 to 20 minutes in, I started having contractions.

“I had already asked for an accommodation to get up and go to the bathroom because I was 38 weeks pregnant, and they said I’d get flagged for cheating. I couldn’t leave the view of the camera,’’ she said.

She said she continued taking the test because “ I’ve never been pregnant before, so I was [thinking], ‘I don’t know what this feels like.’ ”

As soon as she was finished, her husband took her to a local hospital, where she delivered 6-pound, 5-ounce son Cassius Phillip Andrew about four and a half hours later.

But Hill was still determined to stay on course and finish taking the bar.

The next day, the hospital gave her a private room and posted a “Do not disturb’’ sign on the door, and Hill finished up the second day of the exam — breast-feeding her newborn during breaks.

Hill has yet to get the results of her exam back yet.

But she already has a job lined up starting in January — as a Legal Aid lawyer working on housing issues in low-income communities, “GMA’’ said.

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