A Tennessee judge made a new lawyer's swearing-in to the state bar extra special by holding her young son as he administered her oath.
Juliana Lamar, a graduate of the Belmont University College of Law, formally earned her right to practice law last week. Her 1-year-old son, Beckham, was among the people in attendance. And Judge Richard Dinkins offered to involve the baby, who was born while Lamar was in law school.
"On the day of my swearing-in, right before we began, Judge [Dinkins] said he wanted Beckham to take part in the moment," Lamar told BuzzFeed News. "And I am so glad he did — because to have my son take part in one of the greatest moments of my life was truly a blessing."
An adorable video shows the judge bouncing the boy on his hip as Lamar swears her oath. Hundreds of thousands of people have watched the video and praised the judge for clearly having experience with a baby — as well as Lamar for her professional accomplishment as a new mom.
Having a child while in law school was not at all easy. A week after undergoing a C-section, Lamar had to show up for classes. Her school had a strict policy about how many classes a student could miss, she said.
Lamar credits her husband, Javon, who is currently serving in the US Army at a nearby base, with helping her through the tough period after having Beckham and finishing school.
"The pressure I felt was horrible, and I hope it has led my law school to rethink its policies for future mothers," Lamar said. "I understand having a child during law school is often a choice — however, as young female professionals, there is not a perfect time for us to have children."
She also credits the judge who swore her in to the bar as an inspiration and supporter. Lamar previously worked for the judge as a clerk in the Tennessee Court of Appeals.
"Judge Dinkins has also been a guiding light during my legal career," Lamar told BuzzFeed News. "When I was 9 months pregnant, the day before I found out I needed to be induced, Judge Dinkins spoke on the importance of voting at an event I hosted as the president of my school’s Black Law Students Association. During this event, Judge Dinkins reminded me of how proud he was of me and that he knew I would do great things, even with a baby in tow."