Tennessee Judge Wins Praise for Holding Lawyer’s 1-Year-Old as She’s Sworn In

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A judge in Tennessee is being applauded for the way he included a lawyer’s young son into her swearing-in ceremony.

Richard Dinkins of the Tennessee Court of Appeals swore in 27-year-old Juliana Lamar on Nov. 8, the day she officially got her license. And according to CNN, Dinkins glimpsed Lamar’s 1-year-old son in the crowd of the Tennessee Supreme Court in Nashville. That’s when the light bulb went off.

“Just as we’re about to begin, he goes to grab Beckham and says ‘He needs to be part of this. He’s going to do the swearing-in with me,’” Lamar told the news site of Dinkins’ including of her son in the ceremony.

The result was a viral video Lamar’s colleague Sarah Martin shared on her Twitter account last week. It has since earned more than 687,000 views.

“And the state of Tennesse, in the practice of my profession, I will conduct myself with honesty, fairness …” Dinkins reads as he bounces Beckham in one arm while the toddler’s mom repeats after the judge.

“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,” Martin captioned the Twitter video.

The footage has resulted in tons of acclaim from social media users as it spread like wildfire across the interwebs.

“What an awesome judge!!!”

“The Judge did an awesome gesture.Congrats to the new lawyer and to the judge.Kindness at its best!!!”

“I couldn’t love this more if I tried! Congratulations to her and her family. P.S. her baby is gorgeous.”

juliana lamar
Judge Richard Dinkins (left) holds Beckham as he swears in the 1-year-old’s mom Juliana Lamar as an attorney. (Photo: @/jaydotpett/sarahfor5/Twitter/Instagram)

Martin also sang Lamar’s praises, tweeting that she’s “a badass. She was back at school within a week of an emergency c-section before she was even allowed to drive or climb stairs. Her judicial clerkship will be up August 2021–she’ll be looking to practice sports/entertainment or corporate law.”

Lamar remarked on her experience of expecting a baby while completing law school to CNN.

“Law school is a journey on its own for anyone, whether they’re a parent or not,” explained the attorney, who became pregnant while she was halfway through school at Belmont University College of Law. “Law school is probably one of the hardest things that anyone can do.”

It’s especially hard when your due date is steadfastly approaching when exams are underway. That’s what happened with Lamar, who feared she’d go into labor during final exams last fall. She also dealt with the struggle of getting to work and class without missing too much of the latter.

“The pressure I felt was horrible, and I hope it has led my law school to rethink its policies for future mothers,” Lamar told BuzzFeed News of her university’s strict attendance policy. “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.”

However, Lamar pulled through and is now an officially licensed attorney.

On Instagram, she thanked Dinkins, her “mentor” who she said, “has helped and guided me into my legal career.” She also thanked her U.S. Army soldier husband, Javon, who serves at a nearby base “for being there during all the late nights, all the suits you’ve ironed 😉, coffee you’ve bought to keep me awake, and taking my laptop to force me to go to sleep.”

Lamar also thanked her “baby boy Beckham, who motivates me to keep going everyday and has been with me during half of my law school ‘experience.’” And the attorney praised her mom “for believing in me, knowing my potential, and (trying) to make me not be so hard on myself. Thank you all for your love and support. 😬”

Dinkins has not publicly reacted to the attention he’s received for his gesture.

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