A Tennessee Court of Appeals judge is gaining the admiration of thousands of people on social media after a viral video showed him holding the son of a law graduate being sworn in as a practicing attorney.
The video was recently posted by a classmate of Juliana Lamar, who is the mother of 1-year-old Beckham seen bouncing on the hip of Judge Richard Dinkins. Juliana tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Dinkins felt her son should be included in the ceremony, as he provided support throughout her pregnancy during her final semesters at Belmont University College of Law.
“Judge Dinkins has been there since [my first year of law school] and, of course, knew I would be giving birth during my final year,” she explains. “He knows how important a swearing-in ceremony is, and for Beckham to take part in the ceremony.”
Y'all. Judge Dinkins of the Tennessee Court of Appeals swore in my law school colleague with her baby on his hip, and I've honestly never loved him more. pic.twitter.com/kn0L5DakHO
— Sarah Martin (@sarahfor5) November 9, 2019
Juliana’s husband Javon Lamar, mother Ana, and classmate Sarah Martin, were among the people present for the ceremony and gushing over the sentimental milestone. Juliana says it “perfectly captured my journey and my accomplishments.”
The 27-year-old mother explains that she had become pregnant during her second year of law school and became worried about how she would graduate. She even returned to school one week after having an emergency c-section in October 2018, just to avoid missing class. After the birth, Juliana had one final semester of school before studying for and passing the bar exam while taking care of a newborn.
“I studied 8 to 10 hours a day while still exclusively breastfeeding. Honestly, it was hard,” she admits. “I often felt guilty and selfish every moment I was away from him. But gratefully Javon reassured me that everything would be okay and to just focus on studying.”
Javon recently finished his contract with the Army and is a stay-at-home dad, while Juliana is clerking for a judge at the Davidson County Circuit Courts. Her clerkship will end in August 2021 and she will start looking for a permanent position. For now, she’s focused on work and being a new mom.
“To see a mother finish law school, and a judge understand all that she has been through and the importance of including her son in this pivotal moment, it’s not something you see every day,” Juliana says. “It also gives people hope, specifically mothers who are either considering law school, wanting to have a baby in law school, or are already pregnant in law school, this story lets them know they can do it.”
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