Being sworn in as an attorney is one of the most surreal moments in a lawyer’s life. After years of education and training, the admission ceremony represents a day of achievement and celebration. For one Tennessee lawyer, her day was made extra special when her baby boy became a prominent part of her ceremony.

Last week, Juliana Lamar was sworn in as a lawyer in Tennessee, and a video from the occasion has since gone viral. The clip shows a smiling Lamar being sworn-in as Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dinkins bounces Lamar’s one-year-old son Beckham on his hip. 

The footage immediately took off after one of Lamar’s colleagues shared it in a post on Twitter.

Lamar told Her View From Home she had no idea this special moment would go viral. “I’m still very shocked at the response it has gotten. It feels like I’m dreaming.”

Lamar continued, “In the moment, I was just thinking about how my journey to becoming a lawyer was finally over.” She expressed gratitude for having such an important moment in her life get so much attention.

Judge Dinkins understands the importance of family.

On the day of Lamar’s swearing-in, Judge Dinkins suggested 1-year-old Beckham take part in the ceremony. Lamar had worked for Judge Dinkins during law school, and Beckham was born while she was a student.

In her interview with Her View From Home, Lamar shared her appreciation for having a mentor like Judge Dinkins.

Judge holds baby during attorney admission ceremony.
Courtesy of Juliana Lamar

“Judge Dinkins is amazing,” she remarked. “Judge is a pioneer for minorities in the legal community here in Nashville. He cares so much about teaching others and giving back. He always finds time to volunteer and speak with people and share his wisdom.”

As a father and lawyer himself, Judge Dinkins understands the importance of family. “Not only is he a very dedicated and talented jurist, he’s an inspirational person and someone I definitely look up to.”

Lamar advised fellow mothers not to give up on their dreams.

When asked what advice she had for other women balancing work and motherhood, Lamar said, “Don’t give up. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.”

She said coming home to Beckham and her husband, Javon, after a long day of researching and writing complex issues helps her wind down and relax.

Lamar and family at attorney admission ceremony.
Courtesy of Juliana Lamar

“I love being a lawyer, but I also LOVE being a mom. There is something so rewarding about wearing both hats.”

She wants other mothers to know, “There will be days when you feel defeated and you feel that you’re not doing enough, but that’s okay. When you have days like that, you just need to take some time to yourself and just recoup. Don’t let these bad days define you.”

Lamar hopes her story will inspire other moms.

She also hopes it will make law schools with strict attendance policies reconsider their practices. As a student at Belmont University College of Law, Lamar returned to school a mere one week after an emergency C-section due to her school’s strict attendance policy. She hopes future students will receive flexibility for missing school for medical reasons.

Lamar’s experience is a beautiful story of motherhood and mentorship. She hopes it inspires other women to chase their dreams—even with a baby in tow. 

Juliana Lamar in front of Tennessee Supreme Court.
Courtesy of Juliana Lamar

Candace Alnaji

Candace is a workplace civil rights attorney, writer, and proud mom of three. Her musings on work and parenthood have appeared in numerous places around the web. In 2019, she was named one of Working Mother Magazine's Top Working Mom Bloggers. Candace can be found writing about law, motherhood, and more on her blog as The Mom at Law. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.